The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has filed more than 30 felony charges against the owner of Samax Real Estate, LLC, of Seal Beach. Charges against John Wesley Martynec, 35, include grand theft and financial elder abuse.
The charges were announced in a Wednesday, Aug. 24 press release issued by the SBPD. The decision to prosecute the case came after a police investigation that about lasted seven months.
Martynec was arrested without incident on Aug. 11.
He is currently out on bail.
According to the Seal Beach Police, Martynec has been charged with 34 felonies. However, the Orange County Superior Court Web site listed 33 counts.
The following is the Seal Beach Police Department’s account of the case:
The investigation began on Dec. 1, 2010, after the small town police force received reports of real estate fraud with losses of about $292,000.
Background: Investors told the authorities that they put their money into an investment pool to purchase foreclosed real estate properties. These properties would be renovated and resold for a profit. The investors were reportedly told their initial investment and profits from the real estate sales would be returned to them within six months of the initial investment.
Each investor placed his or her money with Martynec, the sole owner of Samax Real Estate LLC with a business address in Seal Beach.
Martynec sent the investors e-mail updates regarding their investments, along with property deeds for homes located in Los Angeles County.
Martynec told his clients that he was using the profits from each sold property to purchase additional properties. Martynec reportedly stopped returning phone calls or e-mails from the investors after they began asking for their money back.
According to Sgt. Steve Bowles, the city’s detective bureau determined that Martynec had only purchased one property with the approximately $292,000 collected from the victims. This property was later foreclosed.
The properties Martynec had listed on the victims’ investment statements were real—however, neither he nor his company ever owned any of them. The property deeds that had been sent to the victims were later determined to be fraudulent.