Crime - Sacto 911

Man, 71, sentenced to prison for real estate fraud

A 71-year-old man convicted of real estate fraud has been sentenced to more than 24 years in prison, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office reports.

A Sacramento County jury in December found Lonnie Glenn Schmidt guilty of 30 felony charges involving foreclosure consultant fraud, recording false documents, unauthorized use of personal identifying information, second-degree burglary, perjury, grand theft and attempted grand theft. Jurors also found that Schmidt was subject to out-on-bail, white-collar crime and property loss enhancements, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

He was ordered to spend 24 years and 8 months in state prison and another year in county jail.

Between 2009 and 2013, Schmidt falsely promised homeowners facing foreclosure that he would save their homes by eliminating their mortgages. Desperate to believe the promises, homeowners who signed up for his program gave Schmidt control over their properties, authorities said. Schmidt then tried to use those properties as collateral for personal loans or tried to sell them outright for his own profit, all while charging the victims “rent” to continue living in what had been their own homes.

Schmidt was previously convicted of four felonies in 1990 in federal court for a tax scam involving conspiracy to impair and impede the IRS, witness tampering, aiding and abetting witness tampering and conspiracy, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

The real estate fraud case was investigated and prosecuted by the Sacramento Count District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy