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Monday, May 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Claims of Elder Fraud Remain in California

(CN) - A San Diego federal judge has refused to dismiss a case brought by an elderly woman who says her son and daughter-in-law tricked her into signing over $262,000 from a reverse mortgage on her home.

"But for defendants' alleged insistence in having [plaintiff] enter into the reverse mortgage transaction, and facilitating same by bringing a California mortgage loan officer into her home, plaintiff would not have suffered the alleged losses," wrote U.S. District Judge James Lorenz.

Plaintiff Lillian Bunting said her Nevada-based son and daughter-in-law, Randall Bunting and June Carter-Bunting, persuaded her to leave her San Diego home and move in with them.

The alleged fraud took only a matter of weeks in 2007, according to Bunting's complaint.

While staying in the couple's home, Bunting bought her own property in Nevada. She then allegedly signed the Nevada property title over to the couple and moved back to San Diego.

Though the parties contest Bunting's understanding of the transaction, she took out a reverse mortgage on her San Diego home when the couple came for a visit in June 2007. Randall and his wife took the $262,000 in reverse-mortgage proceeds to pay off money owed on the Nevada property.

After removing the case from state court to California's Southern District, Randall and June moved to dismiss or transfer again to the District of Nevada.

But Lorenz said Monday that the crux of the case centers on acts that took place in San Diego, where the reverse mortgage occurred. The events that took place in Nevada have no jurisdictional significance.

He refused to dismiss or move the case.

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