Real Estate Fraud
If you believe you have been the victim of a Real Estate Fraud
What We Can Do
The Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office (SCDA) conducts investigations into real estate fraud related cases occurring within Stanislaus County. The types of cases which will be considered for investigation by our investigators are frauds that result from various fraudulent real estate transactions and/or schemes such as submission of forged loan applications, fraudulent transfers of title or real property, recordation of fraudulent real estate documents, home equity sale contract fraud, and mortgage foreclosure consultant fraud.
Upon receipt of a written complaint, an investigator will review all the information and the supporting documentation that is submitted to determine if any further investigative activity will be required in the pursuit of the alleged wrong doing. However, in the event that the complaint does not meet the aforementioned criteria for us to undertake a criminal investigation, our Investigators will do their best to refer you to an agency that may appropriately handle the type of transaction involved. Many real estate disputes are not appropriate for government action, but are altogether proper for civil litigation. It is generally an excellent idea to consult with private counsel at the onset of discovering suspected fraudulent real estate transactions if only to explore private legal remedies that might be available to limit your financial losses.
The District Attorney's Office is not legally permitted to represent individuals in civil matters before the courts, or take action in order to obtain money owed to a consumer/institution/company or corporation, and/or obtain any other personal relief. Those functions are generally performed by other government agencies established for that purpose and attorneys who specialize in Real Estate Law.
If you believe you or your company have been the victim of real estate fraud, or you have suffered a loss involving your home or purchase of a home and/or real property due to suspected fraud, please complete the District Attorney CID complaint form and return it to our office. Our Criminal Investigators can only make an investigative determination upon submission of all documentation. Please be aware that we will have to evaluate cases submitted to our office based on certain criteria which will include things such as value of loss, complicity of the victim in the crime, nature of the act whether criminal or civil, and other criteria. Based on this criteria we may or may not open a criminal investigation into your complaint. We will make every effort to inform you of our decision in a timely manner.
How you can facilitate the criminal fraud investigation
Prepare the attached Stanislaus County District Attorney Criminal Investigations Real Estate Fraud Complaint Form in its entirety and return it.
Prepare a summary (Type or print clearly in ink, not less than one page) of your complaint and attach the summary to the Real Estate Fraud Complaint Form . Please include the following information:
- Tell us what happened in chronological detail from the beginning and be specific.
- Tell us who you think the person(s) or company that is responsible for the loss, conversion(s) or fraudulent acts are.
- Tell us where (address, city and state) the incident, conversation or act(s) took place. Include the property address(s) involved in the fraudulent transaction(s).
- Tell us when and how you first become aware that you may have been defrauded. If individual(s) or company is named in your complaint please list exact dates of contact. If someone else made you aware of the potential criminal act, please include the person's name(s), address(s) and telephone number(s).
- Tell how you know the representations were false or how you know the money was misused in this transaction.
- Tell us what your actual financial loss is, if known. Do not include lost interest, unrealized profits or missed opportunities.
Documentary evidence is especially important; therefore, please only include photocopies of all documents and materials (contracts, agreements, certificates, notes, deeds, and correspondences, legible copies of involved checks, front and back, escrow and/or loan documents, etc.) you wish us to review. Please retain the originals for your records.
Upon completion of Steps One and Two, attach the complaint and the summary along with copies of all supporting documentation and forward it to:
Office of the District Attorney, Stanislaus County
Criminal Investigations Division - Real Estate Fraud Investigator
P. O. Box 442
Modesto, California 95353
All complaints must have the complaint form completed, signed and dated by the complaining party (not by their attorney) before the case is reviewed for acceptance. If you have questions pertaining to this process you may contact an Investigator within the District Attorney's Criminal Investigations Division.