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Newport police: Search of offices was linked to mortgage fraud

By ERIC HARTLEY / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

NEWPORT BEACH – A law enforcement search this week of several Campus Drive offices was linked to a mortgage-fraud investigation, police said Wednesday.

Police said they made no arrests after Tuesday's searches, and they declined to detail the allegations.

 
but some of the eight companies targeted in the search warrant, or people associated with them, have faced legal troubles in the past, including allegations of loan-modification fraud.

Agents and officers with the FBI, the Secret Service, the Orange County District Attorney's Office, the State Bar of California and the Police Department helped in the searches at 4500 Campus Drive, a small office park. Authorities seized records and computers from several offices.

Pamela Gerber-Gressier, an attorney who has run two of the companies named in the search warrant, Prudent Law Group and Remedy Center & Associates, is already facing 108 charges of misconduct filed by the State Bar of California.

In a phone interview Wednesday, Gerber-Gressier said the search of her office was a “complete surprise.”

She said she did not know what police were looking for, and she declined to comment on any aspect of her businesses because of the pending investigation.

“I'd love to be able to tell you my side of the story, but I'm sure that wouldn't be a wise thing to do,” Gerber-Gressier said.

A bar complaint filed in June says Gerber-Gressier practiced law without a license in eight states, including Ohio, New York and Florida, by sending people there solicitations offering to modify mortgages. She's also accused of collecting thousands in illegal fees from people in other states.

In a formal response, attorneys representing her denied most of the allegations. A hearing is upcoming, Gerber-Gressier said.

The State Bar complaint says Gerber-Gressier ran her law firm under three names: Prudential Law Group, Prudent Law Group and most recently Remedy Center Law Associates.

Newport Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said the warrants targeted eight businesses: State Trust Legal, Consult Marketing Group, Reputation Enforcement, Legal Research Group, Remedy Center, Prudent Law Group, Remedy Center Law and Secured Processing Inc.

State Trust Legal Inc. was issued a cease-and-desist order in September by the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, which said the company engaged in mortgage brokering or originating without a license. A message left Wednesday with Lee Gross, an attorney listed as State Trust Legal's agent, was not returned.

 

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