February 13, 2017
Defendant Defrauded Homeowners Out of Thousands of Dollars
Las Vegas, NV – Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Alicia Ruiz, 45, of Las Vegas, was sentenced for two felony counts of theft, a category “C” felony, for her role in a foreclosure rescue scheme. The fraud was committed between December 2011 and May 2013.
Ruiz and two co-defendants operated a business known as “National Prevention Center” that defrauded homeowners using a foreclosure rescue scheme. Together, they solicited homeowners and promised their clients that they would purchase their foreclosed homes and then subsequently sell their homes at current value. After placing their trust in this business and paying thousands of dollars in upfront fees, clients’ homes were never purchased as promised, and the victims were not reimbursed.
“Foreclosure rescue schemes take advantage of desperate and vulnerable homeowners who cannot afford to fall victim to scammers promising assistance,” said Laxalt. “Nevada’s homeowners should be cognizant of the warning signs, and follow our tips to protect themselves.”
Eighth Judicial District Court Judge David Barker sentenced Ruiz to 18-48 months in prison. Ruiz previously entered a guilty plea agreement that requires her to pay back five victims nearly $50,000 in restitution. Ruiz’s co-defendants have already pleaded guilty and were previously sentenced for their crimes.
The Office of the Nevada Attorney General offers the following tips to avoid falling victim to mortgage and foreclosure scams:
- Avoid paying upfront fees for foreclosure assistance;
- Get any promises that are made to you in writing;
- Read the fine print of any contract and understand what you are signing;
- Never sign over the deed to your home unless you are selling it; and
- If you are at risk of foreclosure, contact your lender to try and make arrangements. If you are facing mortgage default or foreclosure, consider contacting a HUD approved counseling agency.
This case was investigated by the Office of the Nevada Attorney General. Senior Deputy Attorney General Daniel Westmeyer prosecuted the case.
The criminal information for Alicia Ruiz is attached. To file a complaint about someone suspected of committing a fraud, click here.
(Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)