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19 Accused Of Giant Home Equity Scam

SACRAMENTO (CN) - Federal prosecutors charged 19 people with defrauding homeowners of $12.6 million in foreclosure "rescue" scams and equity stripping schemes. Brothers Charles Head, 33, of La Habra, and Michael Head, 30, of Huntington Beach, were among the leaders in the mortgage scam by which they got titles to more than 100 houses in 18 states, prosecutors say.

Prosecutors say that since 2004, the alleged conspirators offered homeowners "assistance" to avoid foreclosure. The scam allegedly involved putting the home in the name of a straw buyer who would "rent" the home back to the victims, whose house would be sold out from under them after the conspirators drained all the equity.

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