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UPDATE: Hearing for Man Accused of S.C. Real Estate Scam Moved to March

Prosecutors say a Long Beach man changed locks and rented out foreclosed homes he didn't own in San Clemente, Dana Point and Anaheim.

A Long Beach man charged in the theft of $3.5 million in real estate in San Clemente, Dana Point and Anaheim is set to appear at a pretrial hearing in March.

The hearing was originally scheduled for this morning and continued, according to the Orange County District Attorney's office.

Prosecutors accuse Blair Christopher Hanloh, 46, of using forged documents to take over homes he presumed to be in foreclosure and then leasing them to tenants, according to the district attorney’s office.

Hanloh faces eight felony charges of grand theft, five felony counts of recording false and forged instruments, one felony count of second-degree commercial burglary, and sentencing-enhancement allegations for property theft of more than $65,000, $200,000, $1.3 million and $3.2 million. He also faces a charge of aggravated white-collar crime for more than $100,000 and $500,000, according to the district attorney’s release.

If convicted, Hanloh would face a maximum of 21 years in prison.

Prosecutors allege that Hanloh ran a shell company called Blair Hanloh Trustee of Diversified Management Trust, which, authorities say, he used to handle phony paperwork that transferred peoples’ homes to his name. 

Prosecutors say Hanloh would scope out homes to see whether they were in foreclosure, then come back and drill the locks and post abandoned-property signs and “no trespassing” signs.

The San Clemente House

Prosecutors say one of the houses Hanloh took over and rented out to unsuspecting tenants using phony lease agreements was at 205 West Ave. Valencia in San Clemente.

According to the neighbors, 205 West Valencia illustrates the story of the real-estate crisis—from the heady days at the turn of the 21st century to the bursting of the bubble.

Chris Thornburg, who lives with his wife in the house next to the mansion that used to be a beach bungalow at 205, said the property had changed hands several times leading up to the real estate crisis. No one lived in it; it was owned by speculators and “flipped.”

Thornburg, who has lived on Valencia since the mid-1990s, said the house started out as a 1,000-square-foot beach bungalow. As its value kept increasing, owners bought it, held it and then sold it for profit without touching it.

As the bubble swelled, a group of investors came in with architectural plans, tearing down the bungalow and turning it into a massive 3,800-square-foot, 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath mansion, according to real estate website Zillow.com.

The estimated worth posted on Zillow is $1.7 million. The site says the last time the property was sold was 2004.

Look at the formal charges against Hanloh in the criminal complaint uploaded next to the photos above.

Lindsey Hanson January 12, 2011 at 07:17 PM
I pass that monstrosity every day on my way home. I'd like to personally slap whoever is responsible for that nightmare of a house. They bought a beautiful little beach bungolow, tore it down and build that ugly disgrace. The house takes up every inch of the lot. I am amazed the city allowed it. The house is built within four feet of the little house next to it. You could reah out and touch the wall of the house from the window. Can you image what that did to their air flow and sunshine? Then the guy defaults on his loan and since the house has begun to rot. Right now there is trash all over the lawn that has been sitting there for months. Weeds taller than a grown man have taken over and most recently during our last storm, water began to run under the house creating a mudslide that trailed all the way down Ola Vista. I'd like to know how the city allowed the thing to be built in the first place. I think the best option for that crap shoot is demolition and I'm pretty certain all my neighbors agree.
Adam Townsend January 12, 2011 at 07:59 PM
I talked to some folks in the neighborhood, and they seemed to think that the construction permitting wasn't finished, so no one can live in it yet. That is not verified, however. We'll be researching this property further.
Adam Townsend January 12, 2011 at 09:44 PM
That's what I'll be finding out in the coming days.
Lindsey Hanson January 12, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Adam you are slowly becoming one of my favorite people :)
Lindsey Hanson January 12, 2011 at 10:02 PM
Does the City need a permit to hold someone accountable for the trash piling up outside? There has been a rotting box on the proerty since before Christmas. Or how about the dirt from the yard that has slowly slid into the sidewalk slowly becoming one of my favorite people
Adam Townsend January 12, 2011 at 10:13 PM
Hahaha -- hey, as long as I'm on the clock, my job is to figure out what's going on and tell you about it. We're slowly being able to do that more and more. I'm building up my staffing, Rolodex and my document archive to serve Patch users better. We here at Patch view news as a conversation, and we want to write about what you want to read about.

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