Crime - Sacto 911

Contra Costa County man convicted in foreclosure rescue scheme

A Contra Costa County man accused of defrauding homeowners in California and elsewhere has been convicted in federal court in Sacramento for his role in a multimillion-dollar foreclosure rescue scheme.

After a one-day bench trial, U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Monday found 46-year-old Alan Tikal of Brentwood guilty of 11 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

According to evidence presented during the trial, between Jan. 7, 2010 and Aug. 20, 2013, Tikal operated a business known as KATN. He and his associates targeted homeowners experiencing difficulties making monthly mortgage payments, many of whom did not speak English, and promised them that their outstanding mortgage debt would be reduced by 75 percent. Tikal falsely claimed that he was a registered private banker with access to an enormous line of credit and the ability to pay off homeowners’ mortgages in full, authorities said.

Tikal reportedly told homeowners that, in return for various fees and payments, their existing loans would be paid in full, and the homeowners would then owe new loans to Tikal that would be only 25 percent of the original loan.

In fact, authorities said, none of the homeowners’ debts were paid, forgiven or otherwise extinguished as a result of the mortgage relief program. All the purported loan payments paid to Tikal were spent by Tikal, his family and his associates for their personal use.

Tikal and his associates persuaded more than 1,000 homeowners in California and other states to participate in the program. Relying on misrepresentations made by Tikal, many of the homeowners stopped making payments on their existing mortgages and lost their homes to foreclosure. These homeowners paid more than $5.8 million in fees and monthly payments into the program. Of that, authorities said, more than $2.5 million was paid into accounts controlled by Tikal and his family.

Tikal is to be sentenced by Judge Nunley on Dec. 11.

Co-defendants Ray Kornfeld and Tikal’s wife, Tamara Tikal, previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.