Richard and Pamela Scott were arrested by Upland police on suspicion of felony forgery, burglary and filing a false document with the county recorder's office.

Richard Scott allegedly had forged a deed trust document for the property, in which he claimed ownership of it, and filed the document with the county, said Vance Welch, a deputy district attorney with the San Bernardino County District's Attorney's real estate fraud unit.

Scott had tried to cloud up the title owner sequence for the property by indicating on the deed that he was renting the home to the Moorish Science Temple of America, and they were in turn granting it back to him, Welch said.

At least this joker was wise enough to get the chain of title correct. The vagrant in Montana was so stupid that he put Yahweh as the grantor. 

The clever twist this guy put on it was to put the title in some entity he controlled and he merely signed a lease. It distances him from the crime and when the real foreclosure occurs, he can cloud title and claim his bogus lease is valid. Fortunately, the San Bernardino County District Attorney is smart enough to see through this charade.

"What Mr. Scott did was doctor a false document and he had it notarized and he filed it in the County of San Bernardino," Welch said. "At that point, your victim is not (only) the person who owns the house. The victim is the county because it impedes the county's record-keeping ability."

At this point is crime is small, but if he had gotten away with it for a time, he may have tried to sell the house. The transaction might have gone through because the title looks correct. If a new owner is involved and the criminal is long gone with the sales proceeds, then it is a big crime that hurts many people.

Police officers, who arrived with an arrest warrant Tuesday morning, had trouble getting the couple to open the door so they forced it open.

Richard Scott had run to the back of the house, but police were stationed behind it.

The Scotts are expected to be arraigned today in San Bernardino Superior Court, with a pre-preliminary hearing likely to be set later this month.

"I don't know that we've been involved in prosecutions of this nature in the past, however, I think this is an upcoming problem, not just in our community, but all communities with the foreclosures going on," Upland police Sgt. Greg Signorio said. "There are stories of this happening in other places."

Shortly after the arrest, Carolyn Spencer, a Realtor tasked with being responsible for the home for Wells Fargo, and contractors were busy boarding up the front door and securing windows inside the home.

The couple had lived in the home, located on the southwest corner of 23rd Street and Euclid, for the past month and had completely furnished it, Spencer said. The couple had apparently been living with their children.

A family that squats together stays together?

The home's previous owner had moved out in December after Wells Fargo had foreclosed on the home last fall.

Spencer found out about the couple when she went to check on the property last month and found a moving van at the front of the home.

"This guy was in a moving van and he jumps out of the van and he says `Get off of my property. I'm gonna have you arrested,"' Spencer said. "He was in my face, and I was really shaken."

What a loser. This guy tries to intimidate the realtor when she goes up to the property. I know a guy in Las Vegas i can send over... just kidding.

The bank was about to initiate repairs to the home before putting it back on the market sometime later this spring, Spencer said.

Welch said Scott has prior felonies for forgery and firearms possession. Welch said he is on probation for prior crimes and would likely stay in custody longer than his wife, who has no prior record.

Welch said he wants potential squatters to know that similar instances won't be tolerated in San Bernardino County. The prosecutor hopes other police departments in the region take a more active role in investigating similar instances in their own communities and thanked the Upland Police Department and Upland Detective Anthony Wilson for taking the case on.

"Any police department that doesn't take an active role in trying to stop this is not doing what they should be doing," Welch said. "The thing that we have learned is, if you let these guys operate and start looking the other way, it will pop up like a rash.