Alan David Tikal of Brentwood, Contra Costa County, Calif., has been arrested on a complaint charging him with mail fraud for masterminding a multistate scam that defrauded distressed homeowners, announced the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) and United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin B. Wagner. According to the complaint filed in federal court in Sacramento, Tikal has victimized more than 1,000 homeowners, who have paid in excess of $3.1 million.
According to court documents, beginning in January 2010 and continuing to the present, Tikal operated a large-scale mortgage rescue scam. He convinced homeowners that he could satisfy their pre-existing mortgage debt and replace it with a new debt to his company, KATN Trust. He claimed the new loan would only be for 25 percent of the original principal. Victims paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees and then made regular payments on their new loans. Tikal and his underlings instructed the victims not to pay their original mortgage and to ignore all correspondence from the original lenders. This resulted in many of the victims losing their homes to foreclosure.
“The elaborate mortgage rescue scheme alleged in this case swindled more than 1,000 distressed homeowners in California and other jurisdictions out of more than $3.1 million,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General at SIGTARP. “As alleged, Tikal’s operation duped victims with false claims of drastically lowering their mortgage debt in exchange for advance fees. As a result of his alleged deceit, homeowners’ financial condition worsened, and for some, the opportunity to participate in legitimate loan modification programs such as the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) was lost. SIGTARP will continue to work aggressively with our law enforcement partners to stamp out this type of abuse.”