Defendant Convicted of 23 Felony Real Estate Fraud Charges
Fifty-two-year-old Richard Henri Fecteau was convicted by jury of 23 felony real estate fraud charges involving grand theft, recording false documents, and illegally acting as a foreclosure consultant. The jury also found true a white-collar crime enhancement.
Between 2011 and 2014, Fecteau ran a foreclosure rescue company called Team Fecteau. He directed homeowners to deed their properties to a trust. The names of people who had recently filed for bankruptcy were then named as co-trustees of the trust, along with Fecteau himself, which had the effect of placing an automatic stay against foreclosure of the property. This protection is granted under federal bankruptcy laws. Fecteau would often tell the homeowners not to have any further contact with the banks or lenders and that he would handle all further negotiations regarding their mortgages. Homeowners were also directed not to pay their mortgages and make monthly payments to Fecteau for his service.
Once the homeowners signed the first deed to Fecteau, he or his employees would then file additional grant deeds using the same scheme of adding names of people in bankruptcy to the deeds. There was no intent to transfer any true interest in the property to these individuals as their names were removed as trustee each time a new deed was recorded. Fecteau did not actually negotiate with lenders to take any action towards saving the homes of his unsuspecting clients. He continued this scam with some of the homeowners for several years.
Once the scheme was no longer effective and most of Fecteau’s clients lost their homes to foreclosure, Fecteau would then employ another scam to illegally obtain money from the properties. Fecteau and an employee filed false mechanic liens against those same properties hoping that the foreclosing lenders would settle the liens when they resold the properties.
Fecteau faces a sentence of more than 18 years in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 3rd, 2016, in Department 16 before the Honorable Marjorie Koller.
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.