Lenders charged with fraud, theft, conspiracy | April 26, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


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Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 26, 2013

Lenders charged with fraud, theft, conspiracy

CEO arrested while in court for attacking roommate

by Glenn Wohltman

Former financier William Hogarty was set for a preliminary hearing Monday on an allegation of attacking and threatening his former roommate at his Livermore mansion. Instead, he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs, facing 12 new counts of real estate fraud, three counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of perjury.

That's in addition to a civil case filed by several people who claimed he defrauded them and they lost their homes as a result.

Hogarty, 49, is the owner of the now defunct OF Lending, which claimed to do short-pay refinancing (SPR), allowing homeowners who were underwater on their homes to renegotiate with their banks.

[Portion of original story removed.] Court documents claim Hogarty and co-defendants James Allen Rivera Jr., Gregory Wayne Lomba and James Torpey conspired to defraud people of their property, that they conspired to commit false advertising, and conspired to collect advance fees.

The four are also charged with a combined 12 counts of grand theft, for taking more than $69,000 from clients who hoped to save their homes.

[Portion of original story removed.] In a recent interview with the Pleasanton Weekly, Hogarty said he was not responsible for any of the losses to OFL's clients.

"None of these clients were my clients. They were all agents' clients," he said, blaming Rivera for the misdealings. "He was the man behind 80% of the problems. I paid dearly for that."

He also blamed the victims, saying some of them now say they don't know what they signed.

Hogarty appeared on a Bay Area television show, "View from the Bay," in January 2010, where he promoted his company, and claimed he'd saved one woman $370,000 by doing a short-pay refinance. On the show, Hogarty advised people to never submit false or untruthful information.

"The truth is always best," he told the show's hosts.

Hogarty, Rivera, Lomba and Torpey also face additional time under a California enhancement that increases possible prison time for white collar crimes. The four, court documents say, had a "pattern of related felony conduct" that involved "the taking of and results in the loss by another of more than $100,000."

Hogarty, the 2005 Mr. California Bodybuilding Champion, still faces felony aggravated assault and threats charges, in which his former roommate claims he was choked until he nearly blacked out. The preliminary hearing was postponed when Hogarty was arrested on the new charges.

He has since been released on bail, and the $250,000 bond from his criminal charges was renewed. Lomba and Torpey were each being held on a $100,000 bond, and Rivera could not be located.

In the civil case, 22 people have claims under the lawsuit that now includes Hogarty. Virtually every employee of the company was named in the suit, including both Hogarty's wife, Christy, and his ex-wife, Micaelanne Hogarty -- along with Riviera, Tiffany Carr and Lomba. That case alleges clients paid upfront fees ranging from $1,200 to $12,000, for the company's short-pay refinancing services.

At least three people have already won judgments against Hogarty.

Hogarty sold his own home in a short-sale deal. The 12,978-square-foot mansion, with eight bedrooms, a 12-car garage and swimming pool was promoted by Hogarty and his wife Christy as Northern California's answer to the Playboy mansion. It was the scene of risque parties, such as the Fallen Angels Lingerie Party and Mardi Gras at the Mansion. Hogarty said those parties were in full compliance with the law.