Defendants Sentenced for Multiple Felony Charges Related to Real Estate Fraud
DATE: August 17, 2020
CASE: Shaun Smith & Peter Halo (Case #17FE006817)
PROSECUTOR: Deputy District Attorney Sam Nong, Real Estate Fraud Unit
On August 14, 2020, the Honorable Ernest Sawtelle sentenced Shaun Smith to 5 years in state prison and Peter Halo to 4 years in state prison. On July 22, 2020, Peter Halo and Shaun Smith were convicted by a jury of two counts of felony grand theft with an enhancement for causing a loss of over $100,000. Halo was also convicted of four felony counts of filing a false document and Smith was convicted of three felony counts of felony filing a false document.
The convictions stem from a real estate scam in which Halo and Smith sold a home that they did not own to multiple victims. In March of 2013, Smith targeted the home of a 75-year-old Elk Grove resident. The home was pending litigation in probate court when Halo and Smith sold the property three different times to three different victims. Halo acted as the real estate agent for the victims and for Smith, who posed as the legal owner of the home. The victims believed they were purchasing the home from the legal owner, but they were not. One victim withdrew all of her money from her retirement account to make the purchase, and the two others lost their life savings in the transactions. The victims never received good title or possession of the house as promised by Halo and Smith. Instead, they received only false titles that had no value. The total loss for all three victims was over $400,000.
This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.