Former realtor and mortgage exec charged with fraud

Alleged to have rented forclosed homes to unsuspecting tenants

A former Realtor and mortgage company executive has been charged with scamming more than 20 renters in Walnut Creek, Antioch and Brentwood.

Alfonso Salazar searched for empty foreclosed homes in Contra Costa County, according to District Attorney Mark A. Peterson. He would post a note on the door claiming ownership unless someone objects, Petersen said, adding Salazar changed locks and ran Craigslist ads, offering the property for rent.

Salazar claimed the property was owned by 'National Alliance of Homeowners for Justice,' and renters would receive a lease which claimed that 'National Alliance of Homeowners for Justice' was the lessor.

Salazar, 62, was charged Friday with fraud for renting out numerous empty, foreclosed and unoccupied homes in Brentwood, Antioch, Walnut Creek and Hercules to unsuspecting victims. It is estimated that there are over 20 victims who fell prey to this fraudulent rental scheme.

The homes varied in value from $742,000 to $215,000 that Salazar and 'National Alliance of Homeowners for Justice' fraudulently claimed ownership over. By court order, a related bank account was frozen which contained over $35,000 of ill-gotten gains from unsuspecting rental victims.

Salazar formerly worked for Countrywide Mortgage, and he was a licensed real estate agent from 2007 through 2011. The District Attorney charged Salazar with numerous counts of grand theft, perjury and burglary. Bail is set at $180,000.

Salazar is being prosecuted by the Real Estate Fraud Unit of Contra Costa County by Deputy District Attorney Ken W. McCormick. The criminal investigation was conducted by the Walnut Creek, Hercules and Brentwood police departments as well as the District Attorney Special Operations Unit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Doug
a resident of another community
on Feb 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I hope he is put in jail for a long time with Big Bubba

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Theresa N Vista Grande Parent
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:36 am

That is just messed up. Not only do I hope they throw the book at him but I feel badly for the people he rented to. Not only are they out of the money they used for rent but more importantly they don't have a house to live in now. He should have to let some of these people live in his house rent free while he is in Prison.

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Feb 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

What a surprise that he was previously employed by Countrywide -- talk about working both sides of the street!

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