Diana Marks, 45, a California resident, pleaded guilty to felony charges including Grand Theft, Recording False Instruments, Perjury, and Creating False Financial Documents.
Defendant Marks, who is currently in custody, is facing a four year prison term sentence. The charges were the result of an investigation by the Santa Clara County, California, District Attorney’s Real Estate and Elder/Dependent Adult Fraud Units after a tip was received from a concerned neighbor. The defendant defrauded a vulnerable adult into gift-deeding to her the title of the victim’s house. The victim had suffered brain injuries from an accident years earlier and did not understand the transaction. The defendant told the victim she was going to help her get rid of about $26,000 worth of liens levied against her home, currently valued at about $300,000. Except for the liens, the victim owned her house free and clear. Although the defendant was able to rid the liens, through refinancing she then proceeded to strip the house of all its remaining equity. The defendant gained nearly $336,000.00, most of which was spent on her own family. When it was time to pay the mortgage the defendant defaulted on the loan and the house immediately went into foreclosure. Not only did the victim lose her house and all of its equity, but the foreclosure put the victim at risk of eviction. As a condition of the guilty pleas, the defendant will be ordered to pay restitution to the victim.
The defendant is set to be sentenced on September 23, 2010.