SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris awarded Supervising District Attorney Investigator Maurice Landrum with a Peace Officer Certificate of Commendation Thursday for his work in a recently prosecuted mortgage scam.
"Our local law enforcement officers deserve recognition for their meritorious acts of service that provide safety and security for the people of California,” said Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. “I commend Maurice Landrum in his fight against mortgage fraud that has allowed more Californians to stay in their homes."
The presentation occurred at a regional Zone 6 meeting in Fontana where law enforcement leaders met with Attorney General Harris to share and discuss current trends and encourage collaboration. Zone 6 is composed of San Bernardino, Riverside, Imperial, Inyo, Mono and San Diego counties.
Landrum was the lead investigator in a scam wherein two individuals conspired to defraud mortgage giants, Freddie Mac and Bank of America, by illegally occupying foreclosed homes and applying for relocation assistance known as “Cash for Keys.” To avoid a lengthy eviction process, mortgage lenders offer legitimate tenants money to move out of the residence by a specific date, and in exchange, those people turn over the keys and leave the property in turnkey condition.
Through his investigation, Landrum was able to prove that the defendants had illegally occupied the properties, contacted the institution’s mortgage departments, and falsified documents. After submitting the documents, the defendants were paid $10,000 to move out. As a result of Landrum’s investigation, and his subsequent arrest of the defendants, a plea was entered to felony grand theft, which resulted in jail sentences of 252 days, a $10,000 fine, and three years felony probation.
“Since joining our office eight years ago, Maurice has approached every investigation that he has been assigned to with the utmost dedication and professionalism,” said District Attorney Mike Ramos. “He has a proven record of achieving positive outcomes when it comes to seeking justice for victims and taxpayers in our county.”