Man charged with helping to fraudulently acquire Laguna Beach home

A man has been charged with a fraudulent purchase of a home in the Victoria Beach neighborhood in Laguna Beach.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

A 34-year-old man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to conspiring with several others to fraudulently acquire a Laguna Beach home worth about $2 million.

Vicente Anzu was charged in June 2023 to 23 felony counts including conspiracy, identity theft, procuring or offering false or forged documents to be filed, registered or recorded, forgery and mortgage fraud.

Laguna Beach Police Department Det. Kyle Milot said in court papers that Anzu and four other defendants “unlawfully conspired against victims ... to commit a grand theft in which they fraudulently acquired the property at 2845 Wards Terrace. Anzu forged the signature of real persons and recorded false and forged instruments in an effort to carry out the acquisition of the Wards Terrace property and later attempted to monetize the property through loans or a sale of the property.”


The defendant’s wife, Monica, wrote a letter to court officials last year saying her husband couldn’t respond to an arraignment in the case because “he was due at the Maricopa Courthouse in Arizona for sentencing on the same charges.”

She said he was sentenced in Arizona to five years in prison with his release date expected for October 2027.

Co-defendant Deric Ryals, 59, was next due in court for a pretrial hearing July 1 in the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach.

Co-defendants Jermaine Bush, 51, Selwyn Benjamin, 54, and Edmound Daire, 66, were listed as fugitives who have not yet appeared in court on the case.