Real Estate Fraud Hits the Marines

Tuesday, February 21 2006 @ 03:07 pm UTC

Contributed by: jron

Accused of running a real estate scam that authorities say bilked more than $3 million from 50 people, including the families of a dozen troops who have served in Iraq, a woman once honored for her volunteer work at Camp Pendleton has been now arrested.

Being held at Orange County Jail without bail, Evelyn Corina Oberhuber, 36, of Huntington Beach is scheduled to be arraigned today in Fullerton on charges including fraud, forgery and filing false documents, reports said.

On Thursday, Investigators said the homes were offered at below-market prices. Authorities say Oberhuber, who is married to a Marine, fooled home buyers to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for homes in Laguna Beach, San Juan Capistrano, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Los Angeles and San Diego counties that were in the foreclosure process.

Authorities said no homes were actually bought or sold but that buyers were led to believe they had become homeowners. Oberhuber allegedly forged quitclaim deeds and falsified bills of sale.

Jim Amormino, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department, said, "she was involved in nonexistent or fraudulent real estate transactions,"

Claiming they had been defrauded, the investigation began when buyers called police in November. Investigators said, "at least a dozen are Marines stationed in Iraq or at Camp Pendleton, where Oberhuber's husband is a staff sergeant."

Authorities said, "Oberhuber, who in 2002 was among 35 volunteers who received awards for aiding Camp Pendleton families, worked as a paralegal at a Santa Ana law firm," and added "and told prospective buyers she had an inside track because she worked for attorneys who specialized in foreclosure."

By: Dijon Wainwright