Mark Alan Helsing, Hard Money Lending Ponzi Scammer, Gets 15 Years and Restitution Looms

“Hard money lender” Mark
Alan Helsing
was sentenced today to 15 years in state prison and three years of probation for
stealing $6.9 million from investors in a Ponzi and real estate fraud

The Tustin 53-year-old will also have to come up with restitution, which is to be determined at a later date.

Between May 2004 and June 2007, Helsing defrauded a dozen
people as as a broker for hard money lenders through his four Orange County based
businesses: Sea View Investments, HLHS Financial Services,
Inc., Foothill Realty, and Sea View Mortgage. Hard money
lenders provide loans to borrowers with funds from private investors rather than banks.

Many of Helsing's private investors were long-time friends, but
instead of lending the funds to borrowers, he used small amounts for
bogus interest payments and forged documents to
hide his deceit. He then embezzled the rest of the money, failing to
return the investors'
initial principal.

The Tustin Police Department launched an investigation in December 2008
after some of Helsing's victims bounced checks. He was arrested in court
on June 12, 2009, after
pleading guilty in an unrelated case to six felony counts,
including grand theft and check fraud.

On Oct. 3, Helsing pleaded guilty to another 55 felony counts of grand
theft, seven felony counts of filing false recorded documents, six
felony counts of elder financial exploitation, and sentencing
enhancements for white collar crime over $500,000 and excessive taking
over $1 million and $1.3 million.

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