DANVILLE (KCBS) – A former East Bay real estate agent is facing fraud charges after he allegedly tried to fake the final payoff on the mortgage for his Danville home.
Darren Wassell is facing five felony counts, including conspiracy, forgery and filing false documents. Wassell is accused of masterminding an attempt in 2011 to beat the foreclosure process on his own home, which was underwater to the tune of more than $1 million.
“A lot of people, such as himself, weren’t making money and he couldn’t keep up with the mortgage and he started receiving foreclosure notices from Wells Fargo,” explained Ken McCormick, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney.
McCormick alleges that Wassell conspired with a friend to file fraudulent documents suggesting that the loan had actually been paid, in full.
“He himself drafted the document and he filed the phony deed of reconveyance, indicating to the world that he had paid off that loan,” McCormick said.
“It was filed with the County Recorder’s office,” he continued, “which tells the entire world that that loan is completely paid off and you owe nothing.”
According to McCormick, Wassell also wrote a bad check to Wells Fargo – for more than $1.5 million – to pay the loan off in full. That check bounced. Ultimately, Wassell was arrested and charged. He has since posted bail and the case against him will move forward.
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