|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
January 6, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
HUSBAND AND WIFE ARRESTED IN “SQUATTERS” CONSPIRACY TO ILLEGALLY OCCUPY VACANT HOMES IN FORECLOSURE
NEWPORT BEACH – A husband and wife were arrested today for conspiring to illegally occupy a home as “squatters,” by locating residences that were vacant and in foreclosure. Chris Wayne Duncan, 42, and Robin Ann Duncan, 36, both of Newport Beach, are charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit second degree burglary, second degree burglary, and unauthorized entry of a dwelling. If convicted, they each face a maximum sentence of three years in state prison. The defendants are each being held on $25,000 bail. Their arraignment date and Department are to be determined.
In April 2010, Chris Duncan is accused of working with attorney Kelly Johnson to hire private investigator Tim Robinson, to locate Orange County properties that were in foreclosure and vacant. In September 2010, Chris and Robin Duncan are accused of drafting a fraudulent lease for 10 Hidden Pass, a vacant home in foreclosure located in Newport Coast. Chris and Robin Duncan are accused of breaking into the vacant home and moving in illegally. They are accused of contacting the gas and electric company, claiming to be renters, and requesting the utilities bill be put in their name to give the false appearance of legitimate tenancy.
In October 2010, the owner of the property, Suong L., sent an appraiser to facilitate the necessary process of the home’s short-sale. Chris and Robin Duncan are accused of changing the locks and keeping the appraiser from entering the residence as instructed by the owner. Chris and Robin Duncan are accused of answering the door, telling the appraiser they were legal renters of the property, and to have the owner contact them directly.
Upon receiving this information from the appraiser, the owner of the home reported the crime to Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD). After further investigation, the extent of the Duncan couple’s scheme was discovered and they were arrested today, Jan. 5, 2010, by NBPD.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Peter Pierce of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.