On a mild August day in 2009, as the country continued to struggle with an unprecedented home-foreclosure crisis, Greg Adkins presented an unusual seminar to a roomful of nervous homeowners at a Holiday Inn just off the 405 freeway in Costa Mesa.
Adkins, the Orange County regional manager of an Fontana-based tax preparation firm called Old Quest Foundation, explained the unique service his company was offering through a series of PowerPoint slides. One of them read, “Credit lenders cannot legally support their claims when they foreclose. The monetary system has been designed expressly for creating default, foreclosures and bankruptcies.”
The following Sunday, Adkins’ associate, Linda Wilson, delivered a similar presentation at the same Holiday Inn to more people hopelessly underwater on their mortgages. One of her slides read, “When a mortgage is created, your signature on the promissory note creates the funds. They did not exist before then.”
Seminars such as these took place on an almost daily basis that summer, with thousands flocking to ad hoc meeting spaces Old Quest rented throughout Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties.
The company’s founders, chief executive officer Arturo Ruiz and president Francisco Mendoza, brought together a network of recruiters to lure potential customers from across Southern California with promises of financial salvation. At the time, there was no shortage of people looking to save their homes.