A Seal Beach man indicted in a scheme to stop foreclosures was scheduled to be arraigned today in federal court for allegedly swindling people out of their homes, then renting them for a profit.
Terrill "Terry" Meisinger, 74, was indicted June 25 on two counts of wire fraud and a count of aggravated identity theft.
Meisinger allegedly tricked a Las Vegas homeowner into signing a quitclaim deed in exchange for help negotiating a short-sale with his lender, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Meisinger had a deed of trust recorded on the property, then declared bankruptcy on behalf of whomever held an interest in the home, the indictment alleges.
Meisinger then rented the home to someone else during foreclosure, which was put on hold because of the bankruptcy filing, the indictment alleges.
The defendant is suspected of taking in about $1.5 million in rent on about 100 properties he never made mortgage payments on, the indictment alleges. He also generated more than 300 fraudulent bankruptcy petitions on behalf of people who were unaware of the filings, the indictment alleges.
U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ordered Meisinger in 2012 to pay $5 million in civil penalties as part of a large-scale fraud focusing on homeowners, renters and lenders, according to prosecutors. He also was ordered to pay $5 million in civil penalties, and Phillips barred him from working in the home finance or real estate industries for a decade.
Meisinger also was prohibited from filing bankruptcy petitions.
--City News Service