File photo.

A South Bay man who, along with his sister and other co-conspirators, participated in a $6 million real estate scam that listed homes for sale without owners’ consent and collected money from multiple would-be buyers, was sentenced today to nine years in federal prison.

Adolfo Schoneke, 45, of Torrance, who pleaded guilty in May to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner. A restitution hearing was scheduled for Dec. 12.

Schoneke’s sister, Bianca Gonzalez, 39, pleaded guilty in April, admitting her role in the wire fraud scheme, and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 22 in Los Angeles federal court.

Schoneke and his sister, along with co-conspirators, operated real estate and escrow companies based in Cerritos, La Palma and Long Beach under a variety of names, including MCR and West Coast Realty Services. Schoneke and the other members of the conspiracy located properties to list for sale—even though they did not intend to sell the properties to anyone. In some cases, the properties were not for sale.

“The fraud scheme (Schoneke) invented, proposed to his co-conspirators, and carried out involved uniquely devious means designed to steal money from as many victims as possible,” according to a sentencing memorandum filed by prosecutors. “Playing on the dream of home ownership and seemingly out of reach home prices, (Schoneke) figured out a way to ‘sell’ homes that he did not own and had no business in listing for sale.”

Schoneke “and his co-conspirators used numerous properties to further the fraudulent scheme, and collected more than $11.7 million from victims as part of the scheme (involving more than 860 transfers from approximately 750 or more victims),” according to the sentencing memo. “Although some of the victims were paid back, the scheme caused more than $6 million in losses to nearly 400 victims.”

In a related case, 51-year-old Mario Gonzalez (no relation to Bianca Gonzalez) of Garden Grove pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3.