For three years, Patrick Joseph Soria defrauded more than 2,000 homeowners and prospective homebuyers out of around $7.6 million.
He targeted property owners around the country — including in Southern California — faking title filings with county recorders’ offices to make it appear to homebuyers that he owned the home, federal prosecutors said. Then Soria “sold” the properties to those victims, using the proceeds for among other things, escort services and luxury car rentals.
He also persuaded homeowners that he could take over their mortgages from their lender and reduce their mortgage payments.
On Monday, a federal judge sentenced the West Hollywood man to 12 years in prison, multiple outlets reported. The U.S. Department of Justice also announced the sentencing.
Soria was “a skillful con man who created a very sophisticated scheme,” District Court Judge Dale S. Fischer in Los Angeles said. The judge said it wasn’t “the largest case I have presided over in terms of dollars, but it is the most brazen and heartless.”
Soria faked paperwork to make it appear as though his victims’ banks had transferred their mortgages to him and convinced his victims to pay him instead of their lender, according to Wehoville.
He persuaded them to ignore foreclosure letters that lenders began sending when they hadn’t received their payments. Lenders foreclosed on many of the victims, the government said.
Soria also fabricated a number of companies to appear legitimate, including HBSC US and Deutsche Mellon National Asset LLC.
Soria had pleaded guilty on March 2 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and contempt of court. A restitution hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.