Goddard settles real estate suit

Nick Rees Mar. 18, 2010, 4:16pm


PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Several defendants in an alleged real estate scheme have agreed to a $120,000 settlement, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard has announced.

The settlement was reached with Andrew T. Silverstein, Andrew Silverstein PLLC, VinLan Ventures, doing business as Re/Max All Executives, and Vincent Volpe.

Silverstein, a real estate agent with Re/Max All Executives, was alleged to have told investors that they could legitimately purchase multiple investment homes and obtain 100 percent financing.

Buyers were told that Silverstein and other co-defendants would then find rent-to-own buyers who would purchase the investment properties, Goddard says. Some investors were told that they would receive their rent every month whether or not the rent was actually collected, Goddard says.

Volpe was the Re/Max broker for some of the time in which Silverstein engaged in the alleged conduct.

Rent-to-own buyers were then allegedly solicited by Silverstein and other co-defendants to enter into purchase agreements for homes that they were not qualified for.

Over time, investors began to no longer receive rental amounts that were sufficient to cover the amount of the investors' increasing mortgage payments, Goddard says.

As a result of this loss of rent, many of the homes in the scheme were foreclosed, which caused the investors, lenders and rent-to-own home buyers harm, Goddard says.

The defendants in this real estate scheme profited by collecting fees and commissions, Goddard says.

Under terms of the settlement, $84,000 of the total $120,000 will go towards restitution and $36,000 will be paid to the Consumer Fraud Revolving Fund.

This new settlement agreement follows a $60,000 settlement from earlier in the year with four other defendants - Tucson Mortgage Co. LLC; WGA Enterprises,LLC; and William and Jane Doe Anastopoulos.

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