scheme to buy an insurance company using forged financial instruments.
The '89 scheme was hatched by Noe's uncle Clifford, who, along with
Paul Noe's father, Paul Sr., masterminded a 1960s con spree that
included looting a bank in Texas and attempting to fraudulently
purchase a bank in England. The swindles became the subject of the 1973
book The Fountain Pen Conspiracy, reissued as The Super Swindlers.
After his 1989 fraud conviction, Paul Noe, Jr. set up an operation
in California known as a "trust mill," aimed at systematically
convincing senior citizens to hand over their assets to Noe's financial
advisers in the name of "estate planning." Noe was subsequently
sanctioned by the California Department of Insurance in connection with
a series of shell companies he set up as part of the trust mill scheme.
Noe set up the aforementioned company, in partnership with his longtime attorney Roth,
aimed at luring homeowners facing foreclosure into paying thousands of
dollars based on the promise that the convicted con man and his lawyer
would keep bankers at bay
promise by Roth and Noe to sue mortgage lenders, based on the theory
that the lender might not have the legal title to the client's home.
According to transcripts from hearings presided over by Judge Manuel Real of
the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Roth
filed multiple lawsuits in various jurisdictions, then repeatedly
failed to appear in court -- allowing the suits to be summarily
dismissed en masse.
Weekly that he was providing a valuable service to troubled homeowners.
Attorneys now suing him on behalf of former clients say the scheme
involved Roth stringing homeowners along long enough to collect thousands of
dollars in fees, then months later claiming to have lost the lawsuit,
despite his best efforts.
declared Roth a vexatious litigant, and said he would urge federal and
state law enforcement agencies to investigate this scheme. An FBI agent
contacted SF Weekly in April relating to the September story about Roth
and Noe's scheme.
Noe bamboozled more than 2,000 such clients. Given the thousands of dollars
in fees Roth and Noe demanded of each client, the scheme could have
netted tens of millions of dollars.