Sophisticated Real Estate Fraud Scheme Defendant Sentenced for Theft of Over $1.4 Million
LOS ANGELES – The final of four defendants in a $1.4 million real-estate fraud scheme has come under the gavel for the sophisticated ruse to bilk lending institutions. Their two-year white-collar fraud scheme involved nine fraudulent identity-theft clients and a nonexistent bank.
Los Angeles and La Canada unlisted real estate locations were funded through a fraudulent bank account from a bank that didn’t exist.
The gavel came down on 12/4/19 to the tune of over $1.4 million in restitution to be paid by Latrese Gevon Breaux (dob 6/23/72) and three others. Her 212-day sentence in county jail includes 200 community service hours, and five years of formal probation.
Breaux pleaded no contest on Feb. 14 to one felony count each of grand theft and identity theft, and she admitted an allegation of fraud and embezzlement.
From July 2014 through September 2016, Angela Cotton, assisted by her co-defendants, used fictitiously-created escrow and title companies to lead a lending company to believe that it was funding legitimate real estate transactions. In reality, two properties in Los Angeles and La Canada were never listed for sale.
Identities of nine individuals were stolen to facilitate the so-called “sales.” Fake escrow and title companies were created along with a non-existent place of employment for a fake homebuyer’s two approved loans.
Fraudulent websites, emails and phone networks, along with fake employment documents were presented to the lender. Bank account statements were provided from a financial institution that didn’t exist.
The prosecutor added, “The lender transferred funds to a bank account it believed to be owned by a legitimate title company but was owned by one of the defendants.”
The case was investigated by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, Fraud and Cyber Crimes Bureau.
L.A. County D.A. Jackie Lacey leads the largest local prosecutorial office in the nation. Her staff of nearly 1,000 attorneys, 300 investigators and 800 support staff members is dedicated to protecting the community through the fair and ethical pursuit of justice and the safeguarding of crime victims’ rights.