With banks not lending and homes becoming weed collectors, Seal Beach real estate agent John Wesley Martynec hatched what sounded like a win-win for investors: he would pool their cash to buy foreclosed fixer-uppers in Los Angeles County, have them renovated, re-sell the homes at mark-ups and divvy up the profits with his partners.
It would start raining money on investors in six months, the sole owner of Samax Real Estate informed. Last December, when that had not happened, some investors called the Seal Beach Police Department. Martynec now faces 34 felony counts for an alleged $300,000 scam.
Among the charges against Martynec, whose real estate business coverage area encompassed Huntington Beach up to Long Beach, are multiple counts of grand theft and elder abuse, which is based on the age of a burned investor.
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He had apparently been quite communicative with his investors, at first. He regularly sent emails displaying property deeds for the homes he was allegedly purchasing and explaining he was re-investing funds from those sales into acquiring more houses.
However, when some investors informed Martynec they wanted their money back, the emails and return phone calls stopped, according to authorities.
The police investigation revealed the homes Martynec showed off to investors were real, it's just that he, his company nor his investors actually owned them, say police. The investigation showed the deeds in the emails were fraudulent and the real estate agent had only purchased one property, for $292,000. It was later seized in foreclosure.
Martynec, who was arrested Aug. 11, is out of custody on a $25,000 bond awaiting trial.