PHOENIX (Legal Newsline) - Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard is suing multiple real estate agencies and professionals over alleged home foreclosure fraud.
Goddard filed the suit against 13 real estate entities, targeting an alleged three-part multi-million dollar real estate fraud scheme.
The complaint states that the defendants deceived under-qualified investors into buying homes and then sold the properties to rent-to-own buyers.
The defendants are: Andrew Silverstein, former Re/Max All Executives real estate agent; Anthony Zandonatti, owner of AZI Rent2Own and owner of RTOSearch.com; AZI Rent2Own, LLC (dba Arizona Investments); RTOSearch.com; VinLan Ventures, LLC (dba Re/Max All Executives); Vince Volpe, designated broker of Re/Max All Executives; Tucson Mortgage, LLC (dba Tucson Mortgage); William "Bill" Anastapolous, owner of Tucson Mortgage; WGA Enterprises, LLC; Thomas Piazza, Tucson Mortgage loan officer; Amaury Leon, Infinity Funding loan officer; Darren Breen, Red House Lending loan officer; Dave Klein, former Tucson Mortgage loan originator.
The alleged schemes were broken into three parts: Arizona investments, fraud against lenders and fraud against rent-to-own investors.
Under the investments scheme, Goddard said, the defendants deceived more than 130 investors into buying multiple investment homes under a "worry free" guarantee requiring little or no startup capital. However, once the down payment was made, the investors stopped receiving rental payments.
During the alleged second scheme, the defendants fraudulently acquired millions of dollars in financing in order to purchase the "investment" properties. Defendants profited from the loans by giving false information to loan officers, Goddard said.
The third complaint alleges the defendants offered the investment properties to buyers under a "no qualifying" rent-to-own basis. Once the investors finalized the deal, rental money was never seen again.
Goddard is seeking to have all the defendants stop all services that violate the Consumer Fraud Act. In addition, each defendant faces a penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation committed.
"The violations alleged in this lawsuit are among the worst abuses of vulnerable consumers that I've seen in my time as Attorney General," Goddard said.
"These kinds of abuses practices have contributed to the mortgage meltdown that now finds Arizona ranked among the top four states in the country for foreclosures."