Irvine Broker Arrested in Grand Theft

A 49-year-old mortgage broker was arrested on suspicion of bilking at least three retired residents of almost $200,000, police said Tuesday.

Dorothy Lee Segovia, a licensed Irvine real estate broker, is suspected of attracting elderly clients into investing their savings and retirement funds into fictitious security loans and then converting the money for her own use, Irvine Police Lt. Tom Hume said.

Segovia ran her business out of an office in the 4000 block of Barranca Parkway under the company names of Irvine Mortgage Co., the Mortgage Tree Corp. and the Money Tree.

She allegedly lured her clients by promising them a 14% return on their investments. But in actuality, police said, she manipulated the loan process by fabricating security documents and loans, and ultimately transferred the money for her own use.

The investigation was prompted in 1994 by two investors who alleged that Segovia stole more than $160,000 of their money. A third victim later came forward during the investigation and alleged a $30,000 loss, Hume said.

Segovia was booked on suspicion of grand theft, police said.

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