Thursday Oct 04 2012
Alleged embezzler has history with IRS, real estate dept.
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
Preliminary examination continues to next week for Auburn couple
An Auburn married couple charged with embezzling nearly a half million dollars from the man’s elderly mother went through their second day of preliminary examinations on Thursday at the Gale/Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton and it will continue at 9 a.m. today and Tuesday. Mark and Darsi Champlin earlier pled not guilty to six felony counts of grand theft of personal property totaling about $487,000 and six corresponding felony counts of theft from an elder or dependent. Darsi Champlin, 48, also pled not guilty to an additional felony charge of receiving stolen property. Placer County deputies arrested the Champlins on an out-of-county warrant on Sept. 12 before transferring them to Pleasanton, where Mark’s 86-year-old mother resides, two days later. They are being held in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. On Sept. 12, the Alameda County District Attorney issued a notice of lis pendens, or pendency of action, ordering that the property on the 11000 block of Stonebrook Drive in Auburn be levied upon to pay fines and criminal restitution related to the case against the Champlins, according to Placer County records. It affects the title and right of possession for that property. Connie Campbell from the Alameda County District Attorney’s real estate fraud unit is handling prosecution of the case. Mark Champlin, 61, is representing himself while Dan Roth represents Darsi Champlin. The alleged theft occurred from 2007 to 2011, according to court documents. The Internal Revenue Service and the California Department of Real Estate both took action against Mark Champlin during that time period, records show. In November 2010, he paid more than $50,000 in previously unpaid income taxes, satisfying his requirements for two liens the IRS placed in 2008 on his property on the 2200 block of Grass Valley Highway, according to records from the Placer County Recorder. Champlin was listed as the sole taxpayer on a lien citing $50,317.26 in unpaid taxes from 2004-06, while both he and Kerry Champlin were listed on the other lien for $10,439.75 in 2003, records show; Kerry Champlin satisfied her requirements in September 2011. On March 24, 2009 Mark Champlin had his real estate license suspended for 100 days, stayed for two years depending on terms and conditions, according to records from the California Department of Real Estate. Department spokesman Tom Pool said Champlin had satisfied other requirements, which can include monetary penalties, in lieu of serving that suspension. The department alleged Champlin failed to exercise reasonable supervision over the activities of his salespersons and permitted, ratified and/or caused them to obtain $1,647,000 in fraudulent loans, according to the records. Champlin did not contest the department’s allegations, its records show. On three separate instances, Kathleen DeLapp and Robert Martinson allegedly solicited and obtained loans for homes on behalf of people who either had no intention of living in those properties or who had not consented or known about the transaction, the department’s records show. Champlin employed and compensated Martinson to negotiate and arrange mortgage loans to finance the purchase and sale of at least six homes between August 2005 and March 2007, according to the department’s accusation. At that time, Martinson was not licensed by the department as a real estate salesperson or as a real estate broker, another cause for Champlin’s licenses and license rights to be suspended or revoked, the record shows. In 2008, DeLaap of Auburn and Martinson of Newcastle were among five then-Sacramento area residents indicted for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and other related charges in a mortgage fraud scheme. DeLaap pled guilty to misprision of felony on Dec. 9, 2010, and Martinson pled guilty to mail fraud on Jan. 8, 2010. DeLaap had been a MAC Real Estate Services loan processor and Martinson had been running a branch of that company out of a gym in North Highlands when the crimes were committed, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Mark Champlin has been with MAC Real Estate Services since 1995, according to the state department of real estate. Jon Schultz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.