Lawyer, others promise home loan modifications. Fraud. $96K. Orange County.
A lawyer, now disbarred, and his associates offer home loan modification services, but don't perform after taking plaintiffs' money.
- Case Name: Atilano Villalon et al. v. Gary Lee Lane, et al.
- Court and Case Number: Orange County Superior Court / 30-2013-00638671-CU-FR-CJC
- Date of Verdict or Judgment: Wednesday, June 24, 2015
- Date Action was Filed: Wednesday, March 20, 2013
- Type of Action: Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Breach of Good Faith, Business & Professional Codes, Consumer Protection, Elder Abuse, Fraud, Legal Malpractice, Professional Malpractice
- Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. David Chaffee
- Plaintiffs: Atilano VillalonAnita VillalonMary IacopettiRobert IacopettiTerry L. HertzlerVictorino SerratoKimberly Brice
- Defendants: Gary Lee LaneJose Arturo Abad VegaMarithza Elizabeth Abad-Poe
- Type of Result: Jury Verdict
- Gross Verdict or Award: $96,056
- Net Verdict or Award: $96,056
- Trial or Arbitration Time: 5 days.
- Jury Deliberation Time: 3 hours.
- Jury Polls: Unanimous.
- Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Total judgment amount including attorney's fees, interest and costs: $204,101.50
- Attorney for the Plaintiff:
Irvine Law Group LLP by Rod Bidgoli, Irvine.
- Attorney for the Defendant:
Thaler Law by Jesse J. Thaler, Santa Ana.
- Plaintiff’s Medical Expert(s):
- Defendant's Medical Expert(s):
- Plaintiff's Technical Expert(s):
- Defendant's Technical Expert(s):
Facts and Background
- Facts and Background:
Plaintiffs brought a lawsuit against defendants alleging that defendants illegally conspired to defraud plaintiffs by promising them mortgage modification services, but did not provide any services of value, and never intended to do so between the years of 2008 and 2011.
Plaintiffs alleged that they each paid thousands of dollars to defendants for said home loan modification services. Plaintiffs filed suit for various causes of action including but not limited to: Fraud, Racketeering, Elder Abuse, Professional Negligence, Violations of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Charging Advance Fees for Mortgage Loan Modification, Violations of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §17200.
- Plaintiff's Contentions:
That plaintiffs each paid thousands of dollars to defendants for home loan modification services, but received no services of any value. Plaintiffs claimed that the "Non-Profit" entities and law offices set up by the defendants were sham entities set up for the sole purpose of defrauding the public. Plaintiffs claimed approximately $30,000 in collective losses.
- Defendant's Contentions:
Defendant Abad Vega denied all allegations as to 6/7 plaintiffs. Defendant Abad Vega admitted liability as to one plaintiff, but disputed the amount she demanded.
Injuries and Other Damages
Plaintiffs lost the monies paid to defendants, and sustained emotional injuries as a result.
Demands and Offers
- Plaintiff Final Demand before Trial: "Out of pocket losses," no specific amount.
- Defendant Final Offer before Trial: $7500