Michael McConville, 39, of Simi Valley, sales manager of ALG Inc., was arrested late Thursday, along with loan officers Garrett Holdridge, 23, of Palmdale, and Alan Ruiz, 28, of Huntington Beach.
"After victims signed their closing papers, McConville and his associates doctored the loan documents, forged borrowers' signatures and slipped in hefty fees that were never disclosed," California Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement. "This was not some clerical error but a criminal conspiracy to steal nearly $1 million dollars from borrowers."
According to Brown, the suspects lured dozens of borrowers into refinancing home loans by falsely promising low interest rates and brokers' fees. They then negotiated different terms with lenders, forged the victims' signatures on loan documents and collected brokers fees ranging from $20,000 to $57,000.
Only when the borrowers received true copies of the loan documents after the refinance did they discover that their names had been forged, Brown said.
The suspects stole upwards of $950,000 from more than 70 borrowers, Brown said, leaving victims holding $30 million in loans with terms they did not agree to.
In addition to forgery and grand theft, the suspects are charged with elder abuse, and conspiracy.
Brown also filed suit recently against McConville and his brother, Sean, accusing them of participating in a "property tax reassessment" scam which targeted Californians looking to lower their property taxes. According to the suit, the McConvilles sent mailers to tens of thousands of homeowners that demanded hundreds of dollars in payments for property tax reassessment and reassessment appeal services.
The statements warned that homeowners faced late fees and other penalties if they failed to respond by a stated deadline.