SAN JOSE (BCN) — A woman was sentenced Tuesday for a $750,000 scam that left a Santa Clara County family homeless after they sold their home to her, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Nancy Russell Kempis, 64, of Santa Clara, received more than six-months in jail during a hearing at the Hall of Justice in San Jose for the scam that victimized a family and four banks, prosecutors said.
Kempis persuaded a family to sell her their home at a “dramatically reduced price” to avoid foreclosure and secured multiple fraudulent mortgages that she later defaulted to herself between 2006 and 2009, according to prosecutors.
Kempis’ real estate license was issued in May 2006 and expired four years later, according to online state Bureau of Real Estate records.
The defendant rented the building to the family and promised to ultimately give them back the home, prosecutors said.
Kempis defrauded the banks and kept the loans, which led the home to lose its remaining equity, according to prosecutors.
The home was eventually foreclosed, which resulted in the family’s eviction and homelessness, prosecutors said.
Soon after Kempis was charged, she left the county for New York where she went into hiding under the fake name Morpheus Daw Pud Ko, according to prosecutors.
The defendant helped operate a women’s ministry and self-published a book titled “Asdahlia – Child of The Sea” before she was found in New York City and arrested over the summer, prosecutors said.
In August, Kempis pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and four counts of grand theft, which are all felonies, prosecutors said.
“Ms. Kempis scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars and drove a family into homelessness,” Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Charles Huang said in a statement.
“We are pleased that despite her attempt to flee justice, she was held accountable for her crimes,” Huang said.