A civil mortgage fraud trial in Sacramento Superior Court abruptly ended Wednesday with a settlement that will pay $900,000 to six plaintiffs.
The lawsuit charged that principals in Stewart Title of Placer County and the now-dissolved Stone Canyon Mortgage Co. of Rocklin knowingly worked to assist two men who have been convicted in federal court in Sacramento of running a Ponzi scheme that looted $26 million from 180 victims.
Carl J. Calnero, the attorney for Stewart Title, said the defendants agreed to settle when the plaintiffs in mid-trial reduced their monetary demands. Calnero said it would have cost the defendants more money to continue the trial than to settle the case. He said the defendants continue to deny any wrongdoing.
Jack V. Valinati, who represented the plaintiffs, declined to comment on the settlement. One of the plaintiffs, Darlyne Andrus, said she wanted to press on with the case, while another, Darlene Record, said she never wanted to go to trial in the first place.