San Diego Broker Faces Charges for Forgery, Real Estate Fraud

A felon who authorities say used a fraudulent real estate broker’s license in San Diego County for 14 years faced charges Wednesday of perjury, forgery and use of his son’s identity to obtain credentials.

An arrest warrant was filed this week for Donald James Kenney, a former Arizona lawmaker who went to prison 20 years ago in one of that state’s biggest public-corruption scandals. Authorities said Kenney, 73, used the clean record of his 44-year-old son, Donald John Kenney, to get a broker’s license starting in 1998.

Using that license, the elder Kenney taught a real estate tax class and was a broker at Coldwell Banker until The Watchdog began to ask about his past in April. Shortly after, the California Department of Real Estate concluded that Kenney obtained his license through deceit and ordered him to stop practicing real estate. The case was then referred to local authorities.

According to the arrest warrant filing by San Diego police, Kenney used his son’s personal information, including name and birthday, to apply for a California ID card and real estate broker’s license. His son, an attorney in Washington state, confirmed with the investigator that the personal details provided by his father in the license application are his, and that he has never applied for a real estate license in California. The younger Kenney told authorities he did not give his father permission to use his identity.

According to the warrant, Kenney told the police he had cancer and wanted to get the matter over with. He also said that his real estate deals themselves were legal.

The DA’s Office has charged Kenney with five felonies: committing perjury in his broker’s license application, using his son’s identity, filing false public records, forging his son’s signature, and falsely impersonating his son.

Kenney, who lives in Carlsbad, appeared briefly to face the charges on Wednesday. His next court date was set for Aug. 29 in Superior Court, and he was released without bail.