Hat tip to AL for sending this along from the ocregister.com:
Chris Wayne Duncan, 42, and Robin Ann Duncan, 36, both of Newport Beach, were each charged with one felony count of conspiracy to commit second-degree burglary, second-degree burglary and unauthorized entry of a dwelling, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Chris Duncan is accused of finding properties that were in foreclosure and vacant. In September 2010, prosecutors allege, the Duncans drafted a fraudulent lease of 10 Hidden Pass – a foreclosed and vacant property in Newport Coast – and then broke in and illegally moved in.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the couple claimed to be renters of the property and had utilities turned on in their names to give the appearance of legitimate tenancy.
In October, when an appraiser went to the property as part of the process of short sale, the Duncans changed the locks and kept the appraiser from entering the home, prosecutors said. The couple is accused of telling the appraiser that they were legal renters and that the owner should contact the Duncans directly.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, the owner then contacted the Newport Beach Police Department, which investigated the claim and arrested the Duncans.
The Duncans are each being held in lieu of $25,000 bail. An arraignment date is pending.
If convicted, the couple faces up to three years in state prison.