New information on alleged mortgage scammer


ABC7 first broke the store about Alan David Tikal in February. Today, Tikal winked at a friend in the courtroom as he stood before a judge in handcuffs.

Tikal has been in jail since February on $780,000 bail -- however, Tikal is currently not allowed to post bail because prosecutors believe his money was obtained illegally.

Earlier today, Tikal's attorney asked Judge Carrie Panetta to lift that order and reduce his bail -- a tough sell given his extensive criminal rap sheet.

"I can tell you right now that I'm not inclined to go below schedule...given the fact that I do believe Mr. Tikal is a flight risk," Panetta said in Alameda County Superior Court on Friday.

"He has no verifiable ties to the community as we filed papers today. He has an extensive criminal record outside of California in five different states," prosecutor David Lim said.

Court documents filed by the prosecution show Tikal has a criminal history in five states and Washington, D.C. Tikal's convictions range from disorderly conduct to felony and theft.

Still, Tikal's defense attorney says there's no threat in letting him out on bail.

"He's not a flight risk," said Tikal's defense attorney Fanya Young. "Mr. Tikal has offered not only to surrender his passport but (also) to be put on GPS."

The prosecution says Tikal convinced distressed homeowners to give him thousands of dollars on the promise that he could refinance their mortgages at a 75 percent savings.

"I think he lied to me," said home owner Will Ruiz, "because he promised one thing and then after six months, I never heard from him again."

Judge Panetta agreed to to hold a full hearing on the defense next week, but threw out a motion to dismiss eight of the 29 counts against Tikal. The defense had argued that the offenses Tikal is accused of are not felonies, but rather misdemeanors.

Panetta found nothing to substantiate that claim.

"I'm frustrated right now that I just went on a wild goose chase," Panetta said. "That being said, the demurrer is denied."

The motion to reduce Tikal's bail will be heard on June 23.

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