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California home fire reveals alleged mortgage scheme that bilked man of $48,000


Johnnie Carabajal said he was making payments on the home to a bad realtor. (

When the home a California man was staying in caught fire this past weekend, it was thought he was a squatter, taking advantage of a vacant Vacaville property.

But Johnnie Carabajal, a father of four, says he was making payments on the home to a bad realtor. He identified his realtor as Alonzo Brown III, who has been indicted on mortgage fraud charges.

“I’ve given him almost $48,000 cash throughout the whole time,” he told

Carabajal said he was under the assumption that the short sale document was proof of his intent to purchase the property. But he said the money never made it to the bank. In fact, he was recently served foreclosure papers and said the bank was completely unaware of his transactions with the realtor.

“They (the bank) look at me as a squatter on this house and I’ve been squatting in this house for two years,” he said.

According to the FBI’s website, the realtor, Brown, was indicted on mortgage fraud charges during the summer, alleging that he took out loans in the names of friends and used the money to buy property without their knowledge, the report said.

Brown did not answer a phone call seeking comment from FOX40. Wells Fargo is looking into the matter, according to the report.

Carabajal, meanwhile, is staying in a motel and looking for a rental in the district where his kids go to school.

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