Like many folks in the blogosphere, I really don't want to publicize Casey Serin any more than he's publicizing himself. But I've ignored him in these pages for as long as I can stand. I'll admit that for the first few months of reading his self-aggrandizing blog, I thought it was a fake. I mean, there's just no way that someone could commit multiple felonies, then create a blog to boast about it.
No one, that is, except for Casey Serin.
In case you've missed this story, it goes like this: In 2006, at the age of 24, Casey Serin acquired at least 8 (known) properties in 4 states, all within 8 months.
In order to get the loans, he committed multiple types of mortgage fraud. He lied about intending to live in the properties he was buying (he wouldn't have qualified for the loans at the higher 'investor' rate), lied about his income (he had quit his job to become the love child of Carleton Sheets and Tony Robbins), inflated the value of the properties (highly illegal), and got cash back at close (also highly illegal).
By his own admission, the banks were not aware of his cash-back schemes, where he received anywhere from $15,000-$50,000 per closing. And that would be why cash-back schemes are illegal. In rare cases, banks will allow a very small percentage of the sale to go toward closing costs. In Casey Serin's case, that number was more like 10-20%, unbeknownst to his lenders, and rather than paying any costs, went straight into his pocket.
Some of the "cash back" monies were used in a classic pyramid scheme. Each closing brought more money to keep loans current on his existing properties. They also allowed Casey Serin and his wife Galina Serin to live an extravagant lifestyle. Casey and Galina Serin blew through the money quickly, and within months they were facing foreclosure on all 8 properties.
Casey says that he intended to 'flip' the properties. But I'm starting to wonder if he ever intended to do even that. After all, to a 24-year old immigrant with a ten-year history of running pyramid schemes and only a high school education to his name, he was holding more money than he'd ever seen through those cash-backs. Putting a lot of that dough, not to mention a lot of effort, into the properties to make twenty grand a pop probably paled in comparison.
(Side note, Casey apparently used his father's email account in 1997 when he ran the online pyramid scheme. He freely admits that he did this, and so the name you will see in that link is Aleksey Serin. In case you didn't do the math, that would have made young Casey all of 14 when he started committing multi-state felonies.)
Giving Casey the benefit of the doubt that he really was planning to flip the properties, the market was not on his side. But that's pretty par for dumbass Casey Serin. He considers himself to be some semblance of a real estate savant, yet didn't know enough to see that most real estate markets had been 'correcting' for a good 18 months before he started buying.
By the time Casey had these homes, he'd already significantly overpaid--far from what you set out to do in real estate investing. With deflating markets in many of the areas where Casey Serin bought homes, he has been unable to "flip" them as he intended and is now $2.2 million in debt. Serin hopes to file for bankruptcy to avoid paying his debts, but has been advised that the fraudulent manner in which the loans were acquired means that he will almost certainly be prosecuted for felony fraud---which he damn well better anyway!
What really pisses me off is that mainstream media has picked up Casey Serin's story, and made him the goddamned poster boy for 'the real estate bubble' and 'predatory lending'.....BULLSHIT. Casey Serin is definitely stupid as fuck. But he's an unrepentant con artist.
Casey and Galina Serin's story isn't one of 'young couple tries to make it in the cold, cruel world.' These two are fucking Bonnie and Clyde. What they're doing is bank robbery, without the gun. Yes, it's slightly more sophisticated than what the Barbie Bandits tried to pull off, but the intent is entirely the same.
While Casey and Galina Serin struggle under the weight of $2.2 million in bad loans, the boy has repeatedly turned down legitimate offers for work in order to pursue his burgeoning career in real estate. She won't work because she supposedly believes that her husband is supposed to support her, and besides, she's in *junior fucking college* !!!! He and his wife are additionally $140,000 in debt for unsecured loans such as credit cards, multiple bank lines of credit, and Cash Call.
As a lot of people have pointed out, this money didn't go into the houses he bought. It didn't go toward the mortgages. It didn't go into their maintenance. And it certainly didn't go into rehabbing them to flip. Put that together with the $100,000 - $150,000 in cash-back monies, and that means Casey and Galina Serin have blown through about $300,000 in less than a year. What entitled little twats.
As I mentioned before, Casey is unrepentant. The kid is, frankly, a fucking psychopath. In fact, Casey Serin is today still trying to make real estate deals. He repeatedly makes reference in his blog to making offers on other homes, and is reportedly even shopping for an apartment complex
Watchful observers have pointed out that Casey Serin has used several aliases and known associates. Some of these may be straw buyers; others may be simply a front to hide his own identity. He and his wife have also registered two known DBA's.
Per Casey Serin's own admissions through his blog, here are some other names you should know. I'm including this to not only provide additional transparency, but to assist any creditors and law enforcement tracking this asshole:
KNOWN ALIASES, POTENTIAL CO-CONSPIRATORS, POTENTIAL STRAW BUYERS:
Casey Konstantin Serin, Casey Serin's full name.
Galina Serin, Casey's wife, maiden name Suprun.
Finch Properties, Owned by Casey Serin and Galina Serin
Able Buyer, Owned by Casey Serin and Galina Serin
Aleksey Serin (Casey's father. Casey has reportedly bought and/or transferred properties to this name) Sacramento, CA. Other known cities: Fair Oaks CA, Rancho Cordova CA
Anna Serin (Casey's mother. Casey has reportedly bought and/or transferred properties to this name) Sacramento, CA. Other known cities: Fair Oaks CA, Rancho Cordova CA
Nigel Swaby, Mortgage Broker, Integrity First Financial, Salt Lake City, UT. Other known cities: Sandy UT, Salem OR, Portland OR, Beaverton OR
Duane LeGate, President, House Buyer Network, Atlanta, GA. Other known cities: Marietta GA, Midland GA, Columbus GA, Orange Park FL, Cedar Grove WV
Paul Prestwich, Secure Tomorrow - Asset Protection, Sacramento, CA
Like many readers of Casey's jacked-up online confessional, I would run fast and free of any so-called 'real estate professional' who was cozying up to Casey or Galina Serin. Yeah, yeah...guilty until proven innocent. But like the old boys used to say, you lie with dogs, you're gonna get fleas. In this case, it's probably more like having some veeeery long conversations in closed rooms, even if you aren't conspiring in the con.
One of these associates has said that Casey Serin has recently partnered with a California "investor" referred to as simply "G". They traveled to Salt Lake City together last week, where they were shopping for new properties.
Other blogs say that Casey Serin and his so-called associate were out shopping for homes in the multi-million dollar range. This takes on a new level of ridiculousness when one considers just how badly Casey fucked up with $200,000 and $300,000 properties.
No doubt he's read up on his charlatan real estate investment seminar guides and decided that the 'real margins' are made in higher-end homes. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
If this is your first exposure to Casey Serin, you'll probably have the same reaction that I first did....no WAY could this be real. Oh, but it is. I've looked up the property records. I've seen the fictitious business license trail.
I've got to put this one to bed for the night. There's only so much thinking about this fucked up little huckster that I can stand for one night. But stay tuned....there are some very interesting topics on board. The Casey newbies will have to pull their jaws off the ground. And I highly encourage the seasoned Casey 'haters' to chime in with their vitriol as well.
"Editor's" Note--Work has been a killer for the past couple of weeks, and lord knows I'm not the only one. One of the great things about the 'blogger community' is that people are typically pretty cool about helping one another. With that in mind, my friend Alex and I decided to swap stories this week.
Basically, we're fans of one another's blogs and decided that we would each 'borrow' a story from the other. Alex runs a very cool site called "The Real Estate Forum". As a wannabe homeowner, I try to memorize the tips within for my 'one day' plan. So you'll see my Sunday story about the lady who gave away her tea shop in that blog. I think Alex spun it a bit to better suit the real estate audience. Now I'm doing the same thing with the Casey Serin story.
Alex and I are both incredibly interested in this story, so we're going to combine our research and work together. The blog at "The Real Estate Forum" will have more of a professional tone to it, as opposed to my 'fuck'-filled vitriol. I guess this is a kind of a meme, but I'm excited to see how it works out!