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Terry Goddard Announces Settlements in Real Estate Fraud Case

(Phoenix, Ariz. -- March 17, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced a $120,000 settlement with several defendants for their roles in a real estate scheme in Pima County that deceived novice investors, financial lenders and unqualified home buyers. 

The settlement was reached with Andrew T. Silverstein; Andrew Silverstein P.L.L.C.; VinLan Ventures, doing business as Re/Max All Executives, and Vincent Volpe.

Defendant Silverstein, a real estate agent with Re/max All Executives, told investors they could legitimately purchase multiple investment homes and obtain 100 percent financing.  Silverstein then said he and other co-defendants would find rent-to-own buyers to purchase the investment properties, and some investors would receive their rent every month regardless of whether rent was actually collected. Defendant Volpe was the Re/Max broker for part of the time Silverstein engaged in this conduct.

Silverstein and other co-defendants then solicited rent-to-own buyers to enter into purchase agreements for homes for which they could not qualify. Eventually, investors no longer received rental amounts sufficient to cover the amount of the investors’ increasing mortgage payments.  Consequently, many of these homes were foreclosed, causing harm to the investors, lenders and rent-to-own home buyers.  Defendants profited from this scheme by collecting fees and commissions.

Under the agreement, the defendants must pay $120,000 with $84,000 going toward restitution and $36,000 to the Consumer Fraud Revolving Fund.

This agreement follows a $60,000 settlement earlier this year in the same case with four other defendants: Tucson Mortgage Co. L.L.C.; WGA Enterprises, L.L.C., and William and Jane Doe Anastopoulos. 

Restitution will be provided to eligible consumers. Individuals who have a question about their eligibility can call the Attorney General's Office at (520) 628-6504. 

Copies of the two settlements are attached.