A 63-year-old Newman man has been convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for conducting a real estate scam, costing investors more than $500,000, according to the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
Ralph Leyva pleaded no contest to three counts of grand theft and one count of burglary. The defendant, who had no previous criminal history, received the maximum prison sentence and was ordered to pay full restitution to the victims.
Prosecutors said Leyva solicited money from two victims under the false pretenses that he was selling them bulk foreclosed properties owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a 30 percent discounted price. The victims believed that the sales were being facilitated by California R.E.O. Services, LLC, which Leyva operated out of a Fresno address.
Victims wired funds to Delta Escrow, with a Tracy address, which also was owned by Leyva. These were phony businesses used solely for the scam. Leyva would then transfer the money to a personal bank account. The defendant also used aliases of George Anderson and Andrew Taylor in his scheme.
“Mr. Leyva’s web of deceit extended from Fresno to San Diego to Newman,” said Deputy District Attorney Jeff Mangar, who prosecuted the case.
This case is the product of an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office real estate fraud unit in cooperation with the Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General.