DENVER (CBS4)– The man accused of stealing homes has been found guilty on several charges.
Alfonso Carrillo was found guilty on several charges including racketeering, burglary, theft, forgery, and influencing public servant. He showed little emotion but his wife broke down in tears as the judge read the verdict.
He was led away from court in handcuffs.
Carrillo’s wife, Maria Elena, was found not guilty on theft charges. Most of the case against her was dismissed by the judge.
“She like many others believed he was helping people. He was very convincing and she believed in him,” said Maria’s attorney Wadi Muhaisen.
Carrillo and Maria were thought to be some kind of modern day Robin Hoods– they allegedly took homes from rich banks and helped the poor. Prosecutors said it was a different situation.
During the trial, attorneys with the Denver District Attorney’s office said that that Carrillo would kick in the doors of the homes, change the locks and sell the houses.
Defense attorney Mark Burton countered by telling jurors that Carrillo’s scheme may have been unusual, but it wasn’t illegal.
Carrillo testified during the trial that he saw big potential in fighting real estate fraud by banks and mortgage brokers. So he set up “America’s Home Retention Services.”
Carrillo said he accepted fees to find people abandoned homes to move into. He said victim Maria Molinar wanted a palace and agreed to give him several thousand dollars. However what she got was a deed of adverse possession. Her lawyer told her it wasn’t worth anything.
Carrillo used that method in numerous homes, accepting fees to put people in foreclosed homes that had been left empty. He said he would warn his clients they could be evicted adding, “If you pay me $10,000 and live in the home for two years, you are in better shape.”
Under adverse possession one would have to occupy it up to 18 years, meeting certain conditions.
One of the counts involves a once-derelict house in Southwest Denver. It’s now home to Carlos Thurman’s family.
Thurman moved in three years ago with the impression that if they stayed there for 18 years, it would be theirs. He took possession after giving Carrillo $5,000 to help him find an abandoned home that he and his family could occupy.
“Carrillo told me there was a program called adverse possession, but he never said the house was his,” Thurman said.
The house is one of dozens of homes CBS4 found in an investigation that were in financial distress and then occupied by people connected to the Carrillos.
Carrillo faces a minimum of eight to 24 years on the racketeering charge alone.
“This sets a precedent so this can’t happen to people any more. There’s a way to pointing to this case in Colorado, it’s been proven this is not a feasible option,” said Jury Foreperson Billie Pellerito.
Another person was charged in the case — Rudy Breda — but those charges have been dropped.
Earlier in Douglas County, Sergio Hernandez was convicted of moving into a stolen $1 million home in Castle Rock. His relative Gonzalo Perez was found guilty of taking over one in Larkspur.
Carrillo was their advisor on that scheme that didn’t work out as planned.
Alfonso Carrillo Story Archive
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- Stolen Homes Trial Begins In Denver District Court
- Man Suspected Of Stealing, Reselling Homes Freed From Jail
- Woman Accused Of Taking Homes In Foreclosure Appears In Court
- Woman Charged In Illegal Home Occupation Case
- Family Finally Back Home After Strangers Leave Their House
- Man Accused Of Stealing Homes Will Face A Judge