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Saturday, June 22, 2024 | Back issues
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Old Timer Faces Hard Time for Fraud

MURRIETA, Calif. (CN) - A 67-year-old Murrieta man faces up to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to defrauding distressed homeowners through bankruptcy fraud, and ducking taxes on his swag.

William Barry Blythe admitted he created multiple trusts, and told homebuyers who were behind on their mortgages that he could use the trusts to help them. Blythe said if they deeded their homes to one of his trusts, and paid monthly fees, he could negotiate a better deal for them on their, the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego said in a statement.

But Blythe didn't even try, prosecutors said. He deposited their payments into his own family trust account, and then filed bankruptcy for the other trusts. Each time he did so, prosecutors said, "Blythe misrepresented to the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee that the trust seeking bankruptcy protection had purchased real properties, owed mortgages on those properties, made no income from the properties, and had numerous unsecured debts."

The U.S. attorney added: "As part of his scheme, Blythe misrepresented to mortgage lenders that he had purchased the properties encumbered by mortgages, when in fact he had paid nothing for the properties but instead had duped homeowners into deeding those properties to him by misrepresenting that he would assume responsibility for their mortgages."

Blythe admitted that he owes at least $177,500 in taxes. He agreed to pay restitution to his victims and $320,250 in restitution and penalties to the IRS.

He will be sentenced on June 13.

Murrieta is in Riverside County on the Interstate 15 corridor, a few miles north of the San Diego County line.

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