A man convicted of defrauding more than two dozen families of their savings and homes has been sentenced to seven years in state prison, according to an announcement Monday from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office.
Jesus Lim, 63, of Lancaster, was convicted earlier this month of eight counts of grand theft, three counts conspiracy, all felonies, and an enhancement for aggravated white-collar crime.
District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in the announcement that Lim stole more than $1 million from more than two dozen local families -- many of whom ended up with nothing -- and often lost both their money and homes. In one case, he said, a victim lost $370,000.
"The defendant promised an immigrant's American Dream and then destroyed it," Rosen said. "Some people may feel that fraud is not that big of a deal anymore. We care. Judges care. Con artists should care, too, because prison is at stake."
According to the announcement, Lim, also known as "Jes Lim," used recruiters to convince his victims that he could refinance their homes through his network of fake non-profits with names such as "CASA" and "ICAN-CASA." Instead, Rosen said, Lim took the last of their money and gave them no help.
In addition, Lim promised an inside line on buying foreclosed homes to other prospective homeowners, many of whom did not qualify for traditional mortgages, prosecutors said.
Lim set up phony memberships in his organization and promised to deliver homes at low rates, prosecutors said, as part of a scheme to separate people from their money.
The investigation was led by District Attorney Investigator Justin DeOliveira of the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Real Estate Fraud Unit.
To make a report of real estate fraud, contact the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office Real Estate Fraud Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org or (408) 792-2879.