WALNUT CREEK-- A Northern California man has been charged with defrauding Contra Costa homeowners whose properties were underwater out of more than $100,000, the District Attorney's Office said Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Marc Stanley Cooper, 60, of Rocklin, ran a company called "Keeping My Property" that targeted homeowners who were having a hard time making their mortgage payments and promised to negotiate a mortgage payment reduction with their bank. Instead, Cooper kept the funds, defrauding 15 people in Contra Costa, authorities said.

"He is an experienced con man who promised individuals who were suffering with overly large mortgages that he could reduce their mortgages as well as modify their loans," said Deputy District Attorney Ken McCormick, of the District Attorney's real estate fraud unit. "In reality, he was embezzling and defrauding them."

Last November, the Contra Costa District Attorney's Office served a search warrant on Cooper's home and located additional evidence. He has been charged with 21 counts of financial elder abuse, foreclosure fraud and grand theft.

Anyone who believes that they have been a victim of Cooper or has information about his company is asked to contact the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Real Estate Fraud Unit at 925-957-8604.

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