Crime - Sacto 911

Key leader in foreclosure rescue scam sentenced to 10 years in prison

A Huntington Beach man who, federal authorities say, played a significant role in a nationwide foreclosure scam that included several Sacramento-area homeowners among its victims has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Jeremy Michael “Mike” Head, 34, was sentenced Wednesday in Sacramento, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. A federal jury found him guilty in May 2013 after a nearly four-week trial before U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller. Head’s brother and co-defendant Charles Head, 40, was sentenced by Judge Mueller in September to 35 years in prison.

According to evidence presented at trial, Mike Head played an important leadership role in a fraud scheme that promised to help homeowners avoid foreclosure and repair their credit. Authorities said he recruited and managed other members of the team.

Through misrepresentations, fraud and forgery, the Head brothers and their associates substituted straw buyers for the victim homeowners on the titles of properties without the homeowners’ knowledge. The straw buyers were often friends and family members of the defendants. Once the straw buyers were on the title to the homes, the defendants applied for mortgages to extract the maximum available equity from the homes, then shared the proceeds from the equity and the “rent” the homeowners paid them.

The victim homeowners were left with no home, no equity and with damaged credits ratings.

Between January 2004 and March 2006, the scam netted more than $15 million in fraudulently obtained funds from scores of homeowners, including about a half-dozen Sacramento-area residents. The case came to the attention of an FBI agent when a North Highlands victim reached an FBI economic crimes agent who was taking calls from the complaint line.

On Feb. 28, 2008, a federal grand jury indicted Mike Head, his brother Charles and 14 other defendants, charging them with mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and other offenses. Eleven of the Heads’ co-defendants have entered guilty pleas, and charges were dismissed against one. Charges against two remaining defendants, Domonic McCarns, 37, of Brea, and Anh Nguyen, 40, of Los Angeles are pending.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.