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7 On Your Side: OF Lending Group owner gives "no contest" plea

7 On Your Side has been following for three years ended in a "no contest" plea Wednesday.
A suspected mortgage fraud case 7 On Your Side began investigating three years ago culminated Wednesday in a "no contest" plea. But not everyone is happy with the plea bargain outlined in an Alameda County courtroom.

William Hogarty faced some 16 felony counts ranging from grand theft, fraud, and perjury. Wednesday he entered a "no contest" plea to just one misdemeanor and agreed to repay his victims a still to be determined amount.

Hogarty appeared calm with his attorney Michael Cardoza at Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward.

It was quite a contrast to the lavish parties he's been known to give in his 13,000 square foot mansion in Livermore. A promotional video was posted on YouTube, intended to advertise what he called his "naughty lingerie pajama mansion party."

Robin and Jeff Samuels of Felton in Santa Cruz County spoke with ABC7 News. In a desperate attempt to save their home, they paid Hogarty's now shutdown company OF Lending Group in Pleasanton $7,000. One former employee estimates Hogarty bilked scores of victims out of more than $350,000.

The Samuels told Judge Scott Patton that Hogarty was a monster.

Robin told ABC7 News, "He's a monster because he deliberately defrauded people of millions of dollars. He did it while living in an extremely lavish lifestyle. And he did it without remorse."

Hogarty pleaded "no contest" to one misdemeanor count of accepting advanced fees in a plea bargain; the 16 felonies would be dropped.

One victim who could not attend this week's hearing sent a statement to the court and 7 On Your Side calling Hogarty a habitual offender and hoped that he would be sentenced to the fullest extent of the law.

Prosecutor David Lim defended the plea bargain. He said, "What we realized that the law that made this a felony when we charged them, which was basically theft by false pretenses and accepting advance fees, didn't come into effect until October 2009. Most of the fees that Mr. Hogarty took, predated this law in 2009."

Lim says the most important part of the plea bargain is restitution. Under the agreement, Hogarty will pay a total of $67,000 to 12 victims from Alameda County. His lawyer is still fighting that and claims his client has already begun to pay some victims.

Cardoza said, "A lot of restitution has been paid. In fact, Mr Hogarty is taking that on himself."

Twenty-two victims filed a civil suit against Hogarty and entered into a confidential settlement. Judge Patton has indicated he will accept the plea bargain.

Sentencing is set for November 18.

Three other defendants in the case will also be sentenced that day. Victims outside Alameda County should file a complaint with their own counties or the state.
Related Topics:
home 7 On Your Side alameda county fraud mortgages loans Hayward Pleasanton Livermore
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