You have to give Darnell Bell an “A” for entrepreneurial work – but as you might imagine since he is a known gang member, his activity was illegal.
He was a known and convicted drug dealer, but he made a lot more money in real estate.
And, in concert with a lot of other crooks, he is partly responsible for the real estate kerfuffle.
What he did was to use his contacts as a gang member in La Mesa, and his intimidation as a gang member to coerce/convince real estate agents, appraisers, notary publics and loan officers to scam the system. How much? Probably $100 million, and his bank account had $9 million left when the scheme was discovered.
Basically he would have a “couple” make a high offer on a property that had been on the market for many months. Then he would have his back-pocket appraiser agree that the home was worth the inflated price, and the loan officer arrange a 100% loan on the inflated property. His appraiser then agreed that the home was worth even a great deal more, and the loan officer would arrange a home loan against the property to remodel the property to meet disability standards using a contractor – actually a false contractor that D. Bell himself owned – Bell Construction.
One scam member was a stockbroker, CPA, real estate broker and certified financial planner.
Then the scammers took all of the money for the home loan and the construction loan, never made a payment to the bank that made the loan, split up the money among the real estate agent, the appraiser, the notary public, the loan officer and of course Mr. Bell.
They apparently did this time after time after time…220 times.
When combined with many other scams, and scammers, it is no surprise that the market is in trouble.