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By Brian Hews
A Cerritos man was arrested for taking part in a two-year escrow fee scam that stole over $500,000 from over 30 victims.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Mario Gonzalez, a broker at MCR Escrow, located at 1800 Studebaker Road #700 on Thursday.
The office was apparently just a rented space, Gonzalez worked “by appointment only.”
Researching further, Hews Media Group found another MCR Realty address at 8351 Denni St in Cypress, California, which is a single family residence.
Gonzalez, 45, is suspected of participating in the scam that involved homes that were fraudulently listed as short-sale properties, investigators in the fraud bureau said.
The alleged scheme required buyers to pay escrow fees to secure a property after they submitted a bid, but the sales were never finalized nor were the fees returned to the victims.
There was several recent complaints about Gonzalez on ripoffreport.com highlighting the alleged scheme.
On person wrote, “’IM ALSO A VICTIM of Mario Gonzalez/ MCR Realty.
I was on escrow for 11 months on a short sale property in Fontana. I gave $10,000 deposit and just a month ago I found out on the internet about all Mario Gonzalez FRAUDS. I went to talk to the seller of the property I was on escrow and the owner of the house told me that his property wasn’t for sale and it never was. I tried to contact Mario Gonzalez or Peter Martinez the escrow officer but now they don’t answer the phone and don’t return my emails. The last time that I spoke to Alyssa Logan she told me she would email me the cancellation but she never did. I went to his office and I was told that they just rent a space on the suite. They work by appointment only.I already filed a complaint with the DRE Department and a report with Cerritos Police Department. I don’t understand how these people are free, they should not be doing business and should be arrested for defrauding clients.I know I’m not the only victim, there are more out there. Hey guys please contact me to talk and see what can we do together.”
Investigators are asking the public’s help identifying other victims. Anyone with information about the crime is can contact Detective Keith Clark at 562-946-7217.
Gonzalez is currently being held in lieu of a $70,000 bail at the Norwalk Sheriff Station
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