Contra Costa Times
MARTINEZ -- An Alameda County real estate agent has been charged with seven felonies after authorities said she used a sophisticated scheme to defraud a Lafayette couple out of $270,000.
Judy T. Gong, 53, was arrested without incident at her home Tuesday morning, said Ken McCormick, Deputy District Attorney for Contra Costa County. Gong's arrest came after a joint investigation by the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office and the state Franchise Tax Board.
McCormick said Gong has been charged with two counts of grand theft by embezzlement, two counts of forgery, fraudulent filing of a tax return, failure to file a legitimate return, and perjury.
Gong is accused of convincing the unidentified couple to set up a home equity line of credit, then forging her name on documents to access the accounts, McCormick said. She allegedly then convinced the couple to open a second account, from which she also took money, McCormick said.
The District Attorney's Office began investigating after a complaint by the couple, and requested the Franchise Tax Board to open a separate investigation. The latter investigation determined that Gong failed to report $418,000 worth of deposits to her account in 2009 and underreported her income by more than $500,000 in 2008, McCormick said.
"This office will prosecute anyone who robs victims of their hard-earned money in a real estate fraud scheme," District Attorney Mark A. Peterson said in a news release. "Swindlers and con-artists will not be tolerated and will continue to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
The felony charges also carry with them an enhancement for the excessive loss of money, McCormick said. She faces a maximum sentence of 8 years, 4 months in prison, as well as a fine for the tax penalties owed to California, McCormick said.
She was booked into County Jail in Martinez on $400,000 bail on Tuesday.
Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.