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Accused Real Estate Agent Withholds Plea

Jill Silvey's charges include grand theft and forgery for allegedly deceiving homeowners and investors out of more than $1 million.

A  charged with grand theft, forgery and false recordation appeared in court this week, but did not enter a plea.

Jill Silvey, 51, was arrested on June 27 in her San Jose home on charges she defrauded or falsely used identities of 27 individuals between 2005 and 2011. She is accused of stealing $1.214 million by asking investors to loan money to to borrowers who could not qualify for traditional loans.

According to Deputy District Attorney Paul Colin, 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. 

Court documents suggest there may be additional victims.

Silvey was booked into Santa Clara County Jail and charged with 44 counts of loan fraud. She was recently working for Stevensen & Neal Realtors on 116 E. Campbell Ave., but was dismissed after just a few months, and did not conduct any transactions while there, according to owner and broker Mark Stevensen.

Several of the victims are at least 65 years of age, so several elder fraud counts are included in the charges, Colin said. 

That Silvey failed to enter a plea at Monday's hearing is not uncommon, Colin said. Her attorney, Cameron Watt, needs more time to carefully review the investigation reports and bank records that the DA's office has provided him. According to Colin, the bank records alone are comprise 3,000 pages.

"As expected, yesterday on the advice of her attorney, Ms. Silvey did not enter any plea," Colin said. "This is a common practice."

According to Colin, Silvey created at least 14 fraudulent loans between 2005 and 2011.

"She found people that had money to invest, and would tell them that she had homeowners that needed to borrow money for a short period of time," he said.

According to Colin, all the transactions were fictitious.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office first investigated three transactions, and Silvey admitted guilt to two, court documents said.

Here is a quote, based on the documents, of a recorded interview with Silvey:

"I admit to this, I know I did it, I know it was wrong," Silvey said. "I know it was wrong when I did it. I didn't know why I did it. I don't know why I did it. It doesn't make sense. I mean you're right. Where did this money go?" 

The scheme reportedly collapsed near the end of 2011 after two investors attempted to contact their supposed borrowers—and Silvey—to reclaim a tardy payment. After futile attempts, the couple reportedly contacted the county’s Real Estate Fraud unit, Colin states in a prepared report. 

If convicted, Silvey faces up to 31 years in prison. She is due back in court on Sept. 11 at 2:00 PM in Department 23.

"After that, I expect this case to move to a judge on the early resolution calendar for a detailed discussion about ways to resolve this case without litigation," Colin said.

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