SANTA ANA (CBS) — A Seal Beach woman was arrested Thursday on suspicion of pretending to be an FBI agent to intimidate clients who complained she was running a fraudulent real estate scheme, according to the FBI.
Karen Elaine Hanover, 44, was taken into custody Friday morning at Fashion Island in Newport Beach on a complaint filed Tuesday in federal court in Santa Ana.
According to the FBI, Hanover charged clients $30,000 to provide them with information about prime commercial properties.
Some of her clients felt she never provided any services and kept their money, so they started complaining on a blog and some started contacting the FBI last July.
FBI agents are continuing to investigate Hanover’s real estate business, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.
One of Hanover’s clients said someone with a man’s voice called her and claimed to be an FBI agent. The Buena Park woman said her caller ID indicated the call came from an FBI office in Los Angeles.
FBI agents suspect that call and others were made by Hanover, who opened an account with Teltech Systems Inc. and allegedly used the online company’s technology to spoof the origin of the phone call and mask her voice.
Hanover allegedly posed as an FBI agent so she could discourage her clients from filing complaints with the federal authorities.
Hanover was also accused of pretending to be an FBI agent and calling the blogger who ran a website hosting complaints about the real estate business.
Hanover could face up to three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
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