Real Estate Fraud Suspects Pled Guilty
updated: Aug 11, 2014, 6:14 PM
Source: Santa Barbara District Attorney
Re: The People of the State of California v. Ismael Cancinos and Mercedes Alvarez, Case No.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced today that Ismael Cancinos, age 56, of
Palmdale, CA pled guilty to 34 felony charges associated with defrauding homeowners in Santa Barbara as
well as other counties in California. Mercedes Alvarez, age 48 of Palmdale, CA and a co-conspirator, pled
to 7 felony charges stemming from the same fraudulent activity. Alvarez will be sentenced on August 25,
2014, and Cancinos will be sentenced on September 15, 2014.
Cancinos and Alvarez preyed primarily upon Santa Barbara County homeowners who were facing the
foreclosure of their homes by promising to obtain a modification of their loan or otherwise rescue the
home from the bank.
Cancinos pled guilty to 2 counts of first degree residential burglary (both constituting "strikes"), 3 counts
of grand theft, and 29 counts of fraudulent practices of a foreclosure consultant. Alvarez pled to 7 counts
of fraudulent practices of a foreclosure consultant and admitted the special allegation of committing an
aggravated white collar crime. In addition to their prison sentences, Cancinos and Alvarez will be ordered
to pay full restitution to their victims and Alvarez, a licensed real estate salesperson, will be required to
surrender her real estate license.
District Attorney Joyce Dudley commended the District Attorney's Real Estate Fraud Unit for their
outstanding investigative work in this case and stated, "Real estate fraud negatively impacts our
community, as well as the homeowners who rely on so-called ‘professionals.' County residents are
reminded to never pay an upfront fee to an individual or business claiming to provide services that would
rescue the resident from a pending foreclosure."
February 20, 2013: Real Estate Fraud Arrests
January 25, 2013: Load Modification Fraud
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