I am a victim of real estate fraud by James Parker, a.k.a Justin Tranz.
Mr. Tranz was a comedy hypnosis entertainer in Las Vegas, now performing in New York.
There are other individuals involved in this matter that are either additional victims, or are participating in the fraud. Those individuals are Fausto Hernandez and Ed Rostamian.
Justin & I met, through an internet dating site, in 2001. Our friendship continued until 2004, when this situation began.
In the beginning I would make frequent trips to Las Vegas, in which he paid for the flights to visit him, and stay in his “million dollar mansion on the hill”, complete with movie theater, elevator and fancy cars. He even had me bring my children with me on one occasion. One trip included flying to Los Angeles for a visit while he was taping for the Playboy Channels “Extreme Truth”. He also made several trips to visit me & stayed in my home in Arizona.
In July 2004 he came to visit me. In a casual conversation he asked me questions regarding the home I own, which is EXTREMELY modest, an 800 square foot condo. He asked me about the equity I had accumulated thus far, which at that time was about $50, 000. He said he wanted to help me & didn’t want to see me struggling financially, as I was. He asked me to consider a proposal that I invest in his company by using the equity in my home. He told me I would receive a monthly return on my investment & that he would also pay my existing mortgage, which at that time was $350.00 a month. This offer would be in exchange for me making an investment in him & his company, “The Rekrap Group, LLC”.
I told him I wasn’t interested, but he asked that I consider & think about it, and if I accepted it, to get back to him. He also said if there was anything he could ever do to help me, he was just a phone call away. He had previously helped me with small amounts to cover electric bills & water bills, all of which were paid back.
In September of 2004 my car was in need of serious repairs. The passenger side front hub needed to be replaced. The repairing mechanic told me that if I continued driving it without having it repaired I ran the risk of having a serious rollover accident.
When I purchased my vehicle I had also purchased an extended warranty. The warranty included a rental vehicle in the event that covered mechanical repairs were needed. I thought that the warranty was still in effect at the time I took my car in to be repaired. I informed the dealership that I had an extended warranty when I left my car with them on September 30, 2004. They confirmed that I had purchased the extended warranty & that the repairs needed were included in the coverage plan. They also took me to Enterprise Car Rental to get a vehicle.
After the repairs had been completed on my car, October 1st, the service department contacted me & informed me that the warranty had expired. I asked the service department what the repair costs were, including the rental car charges. I was told the repair charges were $597.77 & rental charges were $47.86, for a total of $645.63, not including taxes.
On Friday, October 1st, I attempted to borrow money for the fees from various personal resources, and applied for a personal loan at my financial institution, all to no avail.
I then called Justin Tranz to ask for a personal loan. He asked me if I had considered his previous proposal of investing in his company. I told him I hadn’t; it was something I didn’t want to do.
He told me he would send me information on making the investment to look over while he worked on getting me the loan amount that I was asking for. Whatever I decided, he would give me a loan for the repairs & rental car.
The next day, Saturday October 2nd, I received a FedEx express package that contained a “Deed of Trust”, listing myself as the borrower & my property in exchange for the amount of $25, 000, with another person, Fausto Hernandez, named as the lender.
When I called Justin Tranz to question this document, I asked him who was receiving $25, 000, and who was Fausto Hernandez. I told him I was concerned about this being a Deed of Trust, as this is usually something filed with the county recorders office against a property owner.
He explained that the $25, 000 was going to be sent to me & that I would pay for the repairs done to my vehicle & the use of the rental car. The remaining amount I would send to him, and this was the “investment” into his company. This was going to be in addition to him paying my monthly mortgage of $350 a month.
He stated that the person named in the Deed of Trust, “Fausto Hernandez” was not a real person. I continued to question this & he said that the $25, 000 was actually his money, and this was just a way to move his own money without raising concern from his other investors. He told me a Deed of Trust was not going to be filed against my property – that this was all just on paper.
Because I was questioning these issues, I began receiving calls from “Ed Rostamian”. Mr. Rostamian stated he was the investment broker for Justin.
Mr. Rostamian repeated several times what Justin had told me: that “Fausto Hernandez” was not a real person, and that this transaction was only a way to move funds that already belonged to Justin Tranz without raising concerns from existing investors and that nothing was going to be filed against my property.
The document stated that I would make monthly payments, in the amount of $166.67 per month, to the lender Fausto Hernandez. Payments were to begin on September 1, 2004, with interest, and would continue until February 1, 2005, at which time the remaining balance would be paid in full. This was confusing in itself because by this time it was already October 3rd, and these papers stated that interest would begin accumulating on August 1st & the first payment was due on September 1st, both of which had already passed. I think these dates were used to “validate” Justin’s claim that this was all just on paper to appease his current investors.
When I questioned Justin about these dates he again told me that Fausto Hernandez was not a real person & there would be no payments to make unless he paid himself, because it was his money to begin with. Regarding the payment of my monthly mortgage, his EXACT words to me were: “That’s less than $12 a day. That’s nothing to me. I can do that for you.”
He told me to just sign the papers & send them back using the self addressed pre paid FedEx envelope that had been included when I received the package.
I continued to decline signing the papers & by this time my car had long been finished with the repairs. Each time I called Justin to ask about the loan for my car & rental his response was always the same – “Did you sign the papers yet?”
In several of my conversations with Justin regarding the loan request Justin stated that he was working on getting the money to me, but that it was embarrassing for him to request such a small amount from his accountants.
After several days of refusing to sign the Deed of Trust documents & calling Justin daily about the loan I asked for, he told me, almost laughing, that if I had signed the papers & sent them back I would’ve had my car by now and everything would’ve been paid for already. By this time, between repairs & the rental car, the cost had nearly doubled & reached almost $1100.
Because I had no other financial resources, I felt as though I had no choice except to sign the Deed that had been sent to me in order to pay for the expenses of repairs & rentals, so that I could get my car back. I signed the Deed of Trust and mailed it back.
A few days after I mailed the envelope, I still had not received the loan to pay for the expenses. I was still driving the rental car to get to & from work. I called Justin on Friday October 8th, very upset & crying, telling him to forget it & that I was going to turn in the rental car the next morning. I would take the 3 hour bus ride to & from work, and that I would figure out another way to pay for it all later. Justin begged me not to do that & said that it would take a little time to get the money to me.
The next morning, Saturday October 11th, I received a call from Justin telling me to pick up $1100 via Western Union, which I did. When I asked why it was $1100 & not $25, 000, he said he was sending me what I needed immediately and the rest would be coming in a few days.
I never received the remaining amount.
Over the next several months I asked Justin about the remaining amount & his agreement to pay my monthly mortgage, which had not happened. He continuously made excuses as to why these things hadn’t happened yet, but that it was forthcoming, which at this point I didn’t believe.
Early in 2005 I began receiving junk mail at my home address with regards to refinancing my home, which I always threw away. In July 2005 I noticed in fine print at the bottom of one of these letters it said “All information obtained through public records”. Based on this statement I began researching my property on the internet & discovered that a Deed of Trust had indeed been filed on November 23rd, 2004, by “Fausto Hernandez”.
I immediately tried to contact Justin, but my calls & messages went unanswered. The company that “Fausto” used to file the Deed was “Foothills Conveyance Corporation”, so I called them. When I explained my reason for calling, the gentleman I spoke with asked me if the name “The Document Center” appeared anywhere in the filing. When I verified that it did, he told me to call that business & speak with “Doreen”. He also gave me the phone number.
When I spoke with Doreen she confirmed that she was aware of the papers that were filed. Additionally, she knew Justin, Fausto & Ed Rostamian. She also gave me a phone number for Ed.
Again, I tried contacting Justin, but yet again my messages went unanswered. When I got home from work that evening I tried again to call Justin, with the same results. I then called Ed Rostamian, who answered the phone.
I identified myself & told him why I was calling, which was in regard to the Deed of Trust being filed on my property, when this was not the agreement. Ed gave me the impression that he didn’t know who I was or why I was calling him. He also explained that he was on his cell phone, so that if our call was lost I should call back. Amazingly, our call was “lost” & I tried calling back for 20 minutes, with no answer.
Shortly after that I received a very angry call from Justin. He felt that I didn’t have any right to call Ed & told me since I had, I could resolve the situation on my own, without his involvement or his help. He also made a statement that I received as a veiled threat. He said that I awoke a sleeping giant and since he wasn’t going to help me that I wouldn’t like the way these people handle their business when it involves money.
I was so frightened that evening that my children & I went to my brother’s house to spend the night.
Since that time I have repeatedly tried to resolve this with Justin, so I don’t have the financial recourses to hire an attorney.
He has given me the following excuses, to name a few:
• His dad passed away & he had to return to Philadelphia
• That it has been handled, but that as a result of hurricanes in Florida (2005-06), no mail was coming out of there
• That he’s out of town on business & he’ll handle it when he returns
• That he’s signing over the debt to be filed against one of his other properties & releasing the debt from my property
In early December 2005, I received a hand written letter, dated November 28th, 2005, from Fausto Hernandez, in which he stated he could no longer wait for his money & that he was beginning foreclosure proceedings. I also received another letter, type written, dated December 6th, 2005, in which he stated the same thing.
At this point I called Fausto, since he had included his phone number. I explained everything I had heard prior with regards to him not being a real person, that nothing would be filed on my property & that the money, which I never received in whole, was actually Justin’s. He seemed very surprised by this & said he would not proceed with the foreclosure, but that he would contact Ed.
I’ve not had any further communication with “Fausto”.
Shortly after that Justin began claiming that he never received the $25, 000 & that he was hiring an attorney. He said his attorney would be calling me, which has never happened. According to Ed, the $25, 000 was used to pay debts that Justin owed, including the rent for the house that Fausto owned in Las Vegas, as that’s where Justin was living. Justin denies this.
When I left a message for Justin that I would come to Las Vegas to meet with his attorney, he called me back saying that he was meeting with Fausto & Ed in California to put the debt on one of his properties.
Recently, in another attempt to resolve this, I contacted Justin again. He said he would call Ed & then call me back. When he did call me back, he said that Ed told him the note had been sold to someone else & there was nothing else he could do.
When I began to post comments on various websites & hypnothoughts.com, I began to receive threats from Justin & I was blocked from that website by the administrator. Justin’s message to me was that if I removed what I had posted, he wouldn’t contact his attorney & he would resolve the debt, as by my postings I was preventing him from earning millions that would be used to pay the note.
Now I see that there are more victims than I was aware of, and he needs to be stopped.