A 34-year-old Sherman Oaks man accused of involvement in a Southern California mortgage fraud scheme pleaded not guilty Wednesday in an Orange County courtroom to nearly five dozen felony charges.

Michael Charles Jackson was charged July 31 with four counts of grand theft and 53 counts of attempting to file a false or forged instrument, with sentencing enhancement allegations of aggravated white-collar crime between $100,000 to $500,000 and property damage exceeding $200,000.

Jackson is due back in court on Friday for a pretrial hearing at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

According to a motion to increase Jackson’s bail from $40,000 to $344,000, investigators alleged he “was an integral part of the fraud scheme used by (co-defendant) Patrick Soria’s companies West Inc. and West H&A LLC to transfer title on residential properties via fraudulent substitution of trustees and fraudulent assignment of mortgages/deeds of trust… without the authorization of the beneficiary lender.”

Jackson was living with Soria, 33, of West Hollywood, and had “intimate knowledge of the operations of the business and its day-to-day activities,” investigators alleged.

Soria has not yet been arrested in the case.

It was not clear why the case was filed in Orange County and the District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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