NEWS RELEASE           FROM:
Stephen Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Dale B. Lohman, Deputy District Attorney
Major Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2599 
 
For release on May 2, 2006     MORTGAGE BROKER ARRESTED IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR REAL ESTATE LOAN SCAM
Michael Schneider, 44, of Hillsborough, California, was arrested Monday evening following an investigation by the Santa Clara Police Department’s financial crimes unit.  In a criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office, Schneider is charged with three felony counts of grand theft (Penal Code section 484-487(a)) and nine counts of elder financial abuse (Penal Code section 368(d)).  He is also charged with taking in excess of one million dollars from the elderly victims in the case.    It is alleged that Schneider, who operated California Plan, a business based in Santa Clara, California, took money from elderly investors who relied on his representations that the money invested would be used to fund residential loans secured by first and second deeds of trust on real property in the Bay Area.  The victims later learned that deeds of trust had not been recorded as promised and that their security interests in the properties did not exist.  In several cases, Schneider sold multiple deeds of trust for the same loan.  Several victims lost their life savings to the fraudulent scheme.  The scam was discovered when victims failed to receive interest payments as scheduled.   Schneider’s bail is currently set at $5,000,000.  He is expected to be arraigned in Superior Court on May 3, 2006.  If convicted, he could face twenty-one years in state prison.   It is believed that there may be hundreds of victims of this fraud.  Anyone with information or questions is encouraged to call Santa Clara Police Det. Steve Hoesing at (408) 615-4818 or Det. Mike Blanc at (408) 615-4819.   ###

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