San Francisco police expands real estate fraud probe 

A multimillion-dollar fraud investigation involving a former real estate agent and purported radio pastor accused of preying on San Francisco’s Hispanic community has now expanded to the man’s brother and niece.

Carlos Parada, 49, of Antioch, was recently arrested and faces charges of grand theft, conspiracy, money laundering and elder abuse, according to prosecutors. His daughter, Karla Parada, 26, also of Antioch, is still being sought, prosecutors said.

Carlos Parada’s brother Edwin Parada, who worked as a real estate agent and restaurateur and hosted a Spanish-language radio program, was arrested in 2008 and has since been accused of stealing some $2.2 million from 31 people. Operating out of an office in the Outer Mission, he would offer services buying, selling or refinancing homes, and persuaded people to give him the money as either an investment, a loan, or simply to hold for unspecified reasons, prosecutors said.

District Attorney George Gascón said at a news conference Wednesday that the latest victim of the Parada “crime family” to be uncovered was a 71-year-old Spanish-speaking Excelsior district woman — identified only as Delia G. — whose husband died in 2006. In order to raise money to help pay for funeral expenses, she came to Carlos Parada for help refinancing her home, Gascón said.

According to prosecutor Sandip Patel, Carlos Parada — also a real estate agent who presented himself as a pastor — allegedly “inserted false notes” into the escrow and diverted $100,000 to himself. Carlos Parada then allegedly took another $65,000 from the woman that he promised to invest, Patel said.

Patel said the scheme was allegedly carried out by Carlos Parada, his daughter and a third man, Geovanny Avendano, 27, of Hayward.

Gascón said the case should serve as a warning to community members at risk of “falling prey to people who are unscrupulous operators.” He said people seeking refinancing should seek out independent counseling before applying.

“This is not a unique situation,” Gascón said. “This is happening a lot.”

A preliminary hearing for Carlos Parada is scheduled for Sept. 26. His brother Edwin is still awaiting trial.

Avendano was expected to be arraigned Wednesday in connection with the case.
 
aburack@sfexaminer.com

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