Editor's note, added January 9, 2014:
Santa Rosa attorney Angelle Wertz has been cleared of criminal charges in an ongoing North Bay mortgage fraud case. Wertz was charged last year with providing illegal notary services for two co-defendants accused of bilking customers of their debt-elimination business. But prosecutors in August dropped all charges against Wertz, finding there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The case against the two co-defendants is continuing toward trial.
Two Santa Rosa residents and a Marin County man are accused of stealing from struggling homeowners in Northern California by promising to get rid of their mortgage debt for a fee, an alleged fraud that could cost some victims their homes.
Investigators said Ronald Cupp, 58, of Santa Rosa convinced at least 11 homeowners, including his elderly mother, that he could eliminate their mortgage debt if they paid him upfront fees of $1,000 to $10,000.
Cupp was assisted by Randall Heyden, 69, a licensed real estate broker from San Rafael, as well as Santa Rosa public notary Angelle Wertz, 38, the state Attorney General's Office said Monday.
Cupp, Heyden and Wertz were named in a 57-count arrest warrant filed Thursday alleging theft, forgery, notary fraud and recording of false documents involving homeowners in Sonoma, Marin and other counties between January 2011 and March 2012.
They were arrested Thursday and booked into the Sonoma County Jail where Cupp and Hayden remained Monday in lieu of $500,000 and $75,000 bail, respectively. Wertz, suspected of notarizing fake documents, has been released.