Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Philip Pennypacker will hear testimony from the more than 20 alleged victims Tuesday.
At a Nov. 19 meeting, Pennypacker decided before he made a decision in the case that alleges Jill Silvey committed real estate fraud, he needed to hear from the accusers first, Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Kathy Wells said.
Silvey, 51, was arrested on June 27 in her San Jose home on charges she defrauded or falsely used identities of more than 20 individuals between 2005 and 2011. She is accused of stealing $1.214 million by asking investors to loan money to borrowers who could not qualify for traditional loans.
According to court documents, Silvey would forge the names of supposed borrowers to create fake loan documents and deeds in order to convince investors that their money was secured by an interest in each fictitious borrower's real estate.
"She was taking one person’s money and delivering it to another," said Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Paul Colin. "It's what we call a Ponzi Scheme. There’s no real investment."
Colin was originally the attorney on the case before being elected Superior Court Judge. Wells took it over.
According to court documents, alleged victims said Silvey came across as " very trusting."
Her husband had no idea, the documents read.
Colin affirmed this, stating, "Our evidence shows that her alleged criminal acts were done by her alone."
Several of the named victims are at least 65 years of age, so elderly financial abuse counts are included in the charges, which will add a sentence enhancement, Wells said.
As for the $1.2 million that Silvey is alleged to have stolen, restitution will be ordered by the judge if/when she's convinced, Wells said.
"But the money may not be readily available," Wells says.
Once convicted, there will also be a civil judgement that can be enforced through garnished wages and liens on private property such as any homes Silvey may still own.
"Of course, if (she) is in prison, it's not likely," Wells said.
Silvey's next Santa Clara County Superior Court date is Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m. in department 30.
D.A. Investigator Jodi Thomas is investigating the case. Anyone with information is invited to contact Thomas at 408-792-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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