A Las Vegas man faces 32 felony counts for allegedly setting up bogus deals to buy homes - often from people desperate to sell to avoid foreclosures.
Investigators from Secretary of State Ross Miller's office arrested Matthew Marlon on New Year's Eve at the Las Vegas-area home of two people who were cooperating with authorities.
Miller said Marlon, using an alias, attempted to convince homeowners he would assume their mortgages in exchange for deeds to the homes and, in some cases, a fee as low as $200.
"To the unsuspecting victims, it was an opportunity to avoid looming foreclosure and a ruined credit rating," Miller said.
Authorities said more than 60 such deals occurred - and Miller said that could be "just the tip of the iceberg."
The secretary of state said that once Marlon had possession of homes, he'd rent them to new tenants - but not make any mortgage payments.
The "sellers" would find out later that no payments had been made on the loans, which were still in their names.