Friday, August 27, 2010

Ron Russell and Summerhills Realty

Readers of this blog should be aware that I am receiving some information that Summerhills Realty and someone named Ron E. Russell is using this blog as a reference in an effort to scam homeless people.  Be aware that Mr. Russell and his business is cited as a possible perpetrator of fraud by a website called Ripoff ReportSee this webpage.  Also, there is this claim of fraud against Ron Russell Properties at the website BizClaims - Latest scams, frauds and complaints. Please be aware that the information of being 'ripped off'' may be coming from only one source is coming from multiple sources, with perhaps as many as twelve persons/couples now pursuing legal action after paying thousands of dollars for services and receiving none of the services that were promised/contracted.

While I know neither Mr. Russell nor Summerhills, I do know that an inordinate number of “in links” from readers of this blog have come via summerhillsrealestate.com for quite some time.  I haven't known what to make of it, nor that there was anything I could or should do about it.

Be aware that Sacramento Homeless blog [aka, SacHo] has no affiliation with anyone named Ron Russell nor an organization named Summerhills.  Neither do I know anything about Mr. Russell's activities nor the nature of his business.

Be very, very careful out there, my homeless and poor friends! It is a dangerous, scamming world.

I will post again on this matter as I learn more.

If anyone reading this blogpost knows anything about this matter, please contact me or post a comment.

-- Tom Armstrong

UPDATE: I now see that at summerhillsrealestate.com , there is a link to a SacHo blogpost.
FURTHER UPDATE:  I've sent a letter to Haven for Hope regarding Ron Russell and his activities, to inquire if Haven for Hope does, indeed, have an association with the man and his businesses, as the summerhillsrealestate.com website claims.  Note that, suspiciously, the summer hills website does not call Haven for Hope "Haven for Hope," but, instead, "Haven of Hope."
UPDATE 9/2/10:  I've used an additional route to contact Haven for Hope [no response from those folks, as yet], and I've submitted a crime tip to the FBI, via the internet.  Apparently, summerhills attempts to interest poor people in buying Sacramento homes, via their service, which they promote as a money saver. UPDATE 9/26/2012: Ron Russell has been charged with multiple cases of fraud. http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/09/20/elderly-man-arrested-for-real-estate-con/

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11 Comments:

Blogger Sue Best said...

On Feb 14.2010, Ron Russel/ Summerhilss Real Estate was suppose to submit an offer on a home I wanted to buy , while waiting for my Condo to sell.He had an agreement that he would sell my home. A offer was never submitted on thr home I wanted and he only sent me a Real Estate person to list my home and then he fired her, Never sending my another Real Estate person .He would say that everyone is realy booked up right now. Come to find out on June 9,2010 someone els had purchased the home and it had been in contract with that person since the first week in March. He led me to beleive that I got the house and we had a excepted offer from the bank.So when I asked for my money back he has one excuss afterf another. He said he is waiting for a funding package form his investers and it will be here shortly.week after week I got this excuss. That was June 9,2010. I finaly went to Small Claims Court and the Judge awarded me the $2500.00 Plus the $60.00 it cost to go to court. He never showed up for court either. Well lets see what he does now I will let everybody know. Stay away form this lying and deceiving man. And If you know anybody that has been scamed by this man let me know, at 916-213-9719 and Call Marge at Call Kurtis Channel 13 News at 196-374-1474 this is her direct line and small claims and the Department of real estate. Thanks again for reading this asnd Good Luck. Sue

September 19, 2010 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger jeff.newlook said...

On May 29th, 2010 I attended a real estate seminar advertised in the Sacramento Bee for a lease to own program administered by Ron Russell, and Summer Hills Real Estate. Promoted as a lease to own program that dictated a participant enroll for two years before the seller would finance the buyer purchasing the property.
I paid to Ronald E. Russell a sum of $2900.00. The amount was for the first month’s lease payment, and security deposit. It also covered the required down payment and closing costs for the loan that would eventually be made by the seller (seller financing) to cover the purchase of the home.
The $2900.00 was paid at the time of signing the agreement to get on the first-come, first-served list being created by the seller, Ron Russell Properties, LLC. He stipulated he would purchase homes for resale to his buyers, and that he had a number of homes in inventory for sale.
It turns out he had neither the funds, nor investors to purchase the homes, nor any homes for sale in his inventory, or plans to purchase any.
I wrote to Ron Russell requesting the return of my deposit. I have been emailing, phoning and visiting Ron ever since, at least once a week, in an attempt to get my deposit returned to me. Each time I am told a new version of the same story. For instance, he would assert that he had investors who would soon be injecting cash into his organization, or a list of homes for purchase from HUD would soon be available for him to purchase homes at a 50% discount from market value. His continued assertions that “any day now” he would have my funds available for refund, are what has kept me from taking action against Ron to date.
Ron Russell claimed he would be purchasing homes from HUD’s inventory at a 40% to 50% discount from market value due to his being involved with a non-profit whom had access to a list of HUD homes for sale at a discount. These purchased HUD homes would then be used for his awaiting home buyers, and investors. Whereupon he would then have the funds available to refund the deposit monies he owes to his clients.
Ron Russell also claims to be involved with a non-profit charity, “Haven of Hope”, and claims this is how he has access to HUD properties at a discount that he will sell to his buyers. However, I contacted Haven of Hope and they have never heard of Ron Russell, or Summer Hills Real Estate.
After three months of hearing this, and not receiving even a payment from Ron Russell towards the amount owed to me, I decided to take action. I am not alone in this, I have read the accounts of 4 others who have fallen victim to Ron Russell’s scam, and have heard there are many more out there. So far Sue Best, Sheryl Taylor, and Darrien Rakestraw have also filed a complaint against Ron Russell in the last few months.
Ron Russell’s latest story is to say that if anyone tries to take him to the DRE, or court, or to the DA, he will simply file bankruptcy, and re-emerge to do the same business under another name. He tells me his brother and nephew are both real estate brokers and he will just use their license to do the same thing. He claims that if I try to pursue him with the DRE and claim misrepresentation, that I was only doing business with his holding company, and it doesn’t have a license, and that he is not required to keep trust fund accounting, nor is he required to give anyone their money back. He claims that if he did give anyone their money back, it was just out of his desire to “reward them” for going along with his time frame to get repaid.
It seems to me he should have always had the deposit funds readily available for refund. The deposit funds should have been kept in a separate account, a trust account, far away from any funds used for operating expenses, or investment purposes. The conversion of these funds has resulted in frustration and humiliation from persons like myself who trusted this real estate broker and have since regretted it, as this person has stolen our money.



Signed:
Jeff Johnson
Complaintant

September 21, 2010 at 2:02 PM  
Blogger Tom Armstrong said...

Thank you, Sue and Jeff.

I take it you have both filed a complaint with the District Attorney.

I am very sorry for you, in the situation you are in. Hopefully, funds will be found to refund your money and Mr. Russell will be facing with felony charges.

I will follow up on the matter with whatever I can learn from the DA's office and post my findings to this blog.

September 21, 2010 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger jeff.newlook said...

Thank you Tom. I have learned from the reveiw of the site "Rip Off Report", the Better Business Bureau, and bizclaims, that Sue and I are but two of possible 12 persons to be taken in by Ron Russel's and Summer Hills Real Estate scams. The two of us have filed claims with the DA, and DRE, and Call Kurtis @ KOVR 13. If anyone out there would like to call KOVR 13 you can call Marge at 916-374-1474. If you have been ripped off by Ron Russell you can also contact the Department of Real Estate, speak to Brenda Smith @ 916-227-0864. Hopefully, with enough persons complaining about this guy, the DA will move against him.

September 26, 2010 at 7:31 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

My partner and I are also in the same boat. we paid the $2900, he assured us that the money would be kept aside as a deposit, he touted that he is a broker licensed with the DRE and not to worry. He put in an offer on a house for us and after several months of waiting and no contact from Ron we called the person selling the house. That agent said ron missed the deadline to pay so the house went to someone else. We put in writing for our deposit back as per the contract we signed and waited ten days. On the 10th day we went to his office he told us he didn't have the money to get out or he would call the cops for us trespassing. this guy is still taking peoples money every day! something has to be done soon!
rob1981sac@gmail.com

October 6, 2010 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

My partner and I are also in the same boat. we paid the $2900, he assured us that the money would be kept aside as a deposit, he touted that he is a broker licensed with the DRE and not to worry. He put in an offer on a house for us and after several months of waiting and no contact from Ron we called the person selling the house. That agent said ron missed the deadline to pay so the house went to someone else. We put in writing for our deposit back as per the contract we signed and waited ten days. On the 10th day we went to his office he told us he didn't have the money to get out or he would call the cops for us trespassing. this guy is still taking peoples money every day! something has to be done soon!
rob1981sac@gmail.com

October 6, 2010 at 9:58 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

My partner and I also have been a victim of this guy, please contact me direct for more info thanks

we have a list of people who have been a victim as well.

rob1981sac@gmail.com

October 6, 2010 at 9:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If anyone is interested Ron Russell has been arrested. If you are a victim of his fraud please contact Christina Barrett at the Sacramento County DA's office. Her email ; barrett@sacda.org

September 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM  
Blogger Thomas Armstrong said...

I received an anonymous comment that tells me that Ron Russell has been arrested. I don't know if that happened relatively recently, or long, long ago. If you have been defrauded by Ron E. Russell or Summerhills Realty, call the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

Tom Armstrong, blogger of Sacramento Homeless

September 20, 2012 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ron Russell was arrested Sept 20th

here is a link

http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2012/09/20/elderly-man-arrested-for-real-estate-con/

September 22, 2012 at 1:20 PM  
Blogger Thomas Armstrong said...

THANKS, Unknown. I greatly hope that the money Ron Russell owns to the many people he has cheated can be found -- or taken up-front out the guy's Social Security.

An awful thing. I feel bad for everybody who was cheated.

I will follow up on this matter, keeping tabs on Russell's trek through the legal system. Likely, I'll find out where he's jailed (if he hasn't made bond) and visit the guy.

September 26, 2012 at 11:28 AM  

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