Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey dismissed grand theft and conspiracy charges against William David Robin in May 2013, prompting prosecutors to immediately file new counts against the 66-year-old Coto de Caza man.
Well, the same thing happened on Monday, except this time it was Judge Kazuharu Makino who tossed the case against the owner of Pacific Vantage of Rancho Santa Margarita.
Robin had been accused of masterminding an $8 million real estate fraud scheme that caused 16 victims to lose their homes.
But the issue this week, as it was in May 2013, was the statute of limitations having expired.
Complicating matters further are the previous convictions of Robin's colleagues Christopher Allen Taylor, 41, of Riverside, and Agida Jamil, 55, of Rancho Santa Margarita. They already cut plea deals that had them copping to misdemeanor grand theft and agreeing to testify against Robin.
All three had been indicted in March 2011 for marketing a "shared equity program" beginning in 2006 that had clients paying half of their mortgage payments to Pacific Vantage, which promised to cover the other half. The customers, who otherwise would not have been able to obtain loans for their properties, would be able to buy out Pacific Vantage after a few years or sell the property and split the profits.
But Pacific Vantage allegedly stopped paying lender J.P. Morgan Chase in late 2007, and the customers lost their homes even though they'd continued to make their payments.