April 14th, 2017 at 9:41am
Despite the pleas of high-powered defense attorney Manny Medrano for an 18-month sentence, Bryan D’Antonio was sentenced to over eight years in prison for a operating a mortgage modification scam.
In imposing the sentence, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ordered D’Antonio to not only serve 97 months in prison, but also 12 months in a halfway house, three years of supervised probation and to restitution of $3.8 million. Judge Carter noted that D’Antonio was still on supervised release after a four-year conviction for a previous medical-billing scheme.
Bryan D’Antonio was the owner and operator of Rodis Law Group and agreed last year to plead guilty to defrauding more than 1,500 people out of $9 million.
Although D’Antonio apologized to the court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph McNally characterized Rodis Law Group as a boiler room, telemarketer operation that lured desperate homeowners by advertising a non-existent team of attorney who would help the homeowners renegotiate their interest rates and principal balances.
Co-defendants Charles Wayne Farris of Aliso Viejo and Ronald Rodis of Irvine have, like D’Antonio, pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to commit mail and wire-fraud charges and have yet to be sentenced.
Read the original article in the Orange County Register.
March 30th, 2017 at 3:01pm
Huntington Beach resident James Allen Ramsdell, called the “Assistant Coach Bandit” by the FBI for robbing banks in Southern California, has pleaded guilty to defrauding people who sought loan modifications.
In 2009, Ramsdell, 51, received a three-year sentence in federal prison for robbing banks in Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and San Diego County.
A youth coach as well as a sub-prime mortgage broker, Ramsdell now faces 6 months in county jail following his guilty plea to eight felony counts including grand theft and a sentencing enhancement for his prior bank robbery conviction. There were six victims, from which he took $40,000 for illegally charging upfront/advance fees for loan modification services he did not perform.
Read the original article in the Orange County Register.
March 2nd, 2017 at 10:36am
Stephen Siringoringo, a Westminster attorney who targeted poor and Spanish-language victims in San Bernardino County in a loan modification fraud scheme, is going to prison for seven years and ordered to pay $108,000 in restitution.
Siringoringo, 35, who was disbarred in March 2015, pleaded guilty to to grand theft and money laundering for his role in the $44 million scam. He found his victims by advertising on radio and television and gaining their trust for his “mortgage relief” services by telling them he was an attorney.
San Bernardino County District Attorney officials said in the news release, “Siringoringo, in particular, preyed on the victims by using his position as an attorney to gain their trust and charge large unlawful upfront fees and monthly payments. Most of the victims never received any loan modification, and many who had lost their money with Siringoringo, Cobb and Clausen sought assistance through other means.”
The investigation was conducted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office-Bureau Real Estate Fraud Unit. In addition to his conviction, Stephen Siringoringo was ordered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to provide $20,825,000 in restitution to victims outside of the county.
Read the original article in 24/7 and Highland News.
December 8th, 2016 at 5:39pm
Patrick Iturra, 46, of Canyon Lake, pleaded guilty to two counts of foreclosure consultant fraud and three counts of felony grand theft, according to Ventura County prosecutors.
Iturra, who operated a business called Mercury Business Group, was accused of promising homeowners he could save their properties from foreclosure if they paid him upfront fees.
In addition to facing a possible jail sentence, Iturra “will be ordered to pay restitution to the victims,” say prosecutors.
Read the original article in the Ventura County Star.
December 6th, 2016 at 8:58am
Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Robert LaForge has ordered Miguel Lopez to serve one year in jail and pay nearly $250,000 in restitution to the more than 80 people he victimized by promising to reduce their mortgage payments in exchange for a fee. Teary eyed victims sat in the courtroom watching it all go down.
Lopez, a Petaluma resident, pleaded no contest to grand theft and embezzlement in October. Sixteen of his victims read their statements in the courtroom and many cried about their suffering and how the long ordeal caused them to lose faith in the legal system.
The $250,000, which Lopez’ defense plans to appeal, will only cover the $1,995 each of the homeowners paid him.
Read the original article in ABC7News.com
December 6th, 2016 at 8:37am
Long Beach resident Karl Robinson, 52, was sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty in August to one count of bankruptcy fraud.
Prosecutors had accused Robinson of operating a five-year scheme under his own name and companies he created such as “Stay In Your Home Today,” “21st Century Development” and “Genesis Ventures Corporation.” He purportedly brought in close to $3 million from the distressed homeowners who fell for his scam, which included false promises by Robinson that he could save their homes.
As part of the scheme, Robinson filed falsified grant deeds with county recorders and other fake documents in state court eviction proceedings to make it appear that fictional debtors held interests in the distressed properties. In a plea agreement, Robinson admitted that he misused notary stamps of other individuals in order to fake signatures on legal documents (notary fraud) and that he charged distressed homeowners additional fees if they wanted to unwind fake filings.
“This scheme was never about providing assistance to distressed homeowners,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. “It was about lying to distressed homeowners and collecting fees based on false promises. This defendant abused the bankruptcy system and stole identities to perpetrate his fraudulent scheme.”
The case against Robinson was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kerry L. Quinn of the Major Frauds Section.
November 11th, 2016 at 12:08pm
Asima Khan, 35, owner of Financial Independent Services is going to spend 12 days in jail and have to pay $60,387 in restitution to her clients, after being prosecuted by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Khan violated Michigan law by collecting upfront money for her services, which were mortgage modifications.
“We see this time and time again, good people who have fallen on difficult times are taken advantage of by an individual who sees nothing but dollar signs,” Schuette said in a statement. “I am pleased to see this case resolved, but I will continue to seek justice and restitution for victims of this type of crime.”
Read the original article in the Detroit News.
October 28th, 2016 at 6:14am
Franklin Marquez, 52, has been sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison for his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme. He was convicted on one count of pattern of mortgage lending fraud, a category “B” felony.
Marquez and his co-defendants – Maria Lorena Anzu, Jose Ben Rodriguez and Gilberto Navidad , were alleged to have operated a criminal enterprise in Las Vegas called Majestic Group, LLC. Their pitch to distressed homeowners was that they could sell their homes to Majestic Group at market value and then the company would sell their homes back to them at lower, more affordable prices. The victims were charged upfront fees along with monthly payments.
Read the original article in News3LV.
October 21st, 2016 at 6:40am
Moses S. Hall, 60, a resident of Blackwood, New Jersey, has been arrested on federal charges of operating a mortgage modification scheme that defrauded more than 75 distressed homeowners in Orange County. Hall, who formerly had a law practice in Fullerton before he was disbarred in 2012, is being accused of inducing those homeowner to pay him for over $1.4 million in services that he allegedly never provided. The indictment is for 16 counts of fraud and tax offenses.
Among other claims, the indictment alleges Hall concealed from victims that he was using their money to pay for personal expenses and that he was a previously convicted felon who had served time in state prison in New Jersey prior to being admitted as an attorney in California. He told homeowners in distress to cease making their monthly mortgage payments and instead send the money to him for the purpose of negotiating with lenders. Some later lost their homes to foreclosure.
The charges stem from a probe by IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Secret Service. The Office of Chief Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California also provided assistance with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Pell.
Read the press release on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website and the OC Register.
September 30th, 2016 at 7:46am
Victims of a Petaluma real estate agent whom prosecutors ripping off at least 100 persons in the Bay Area in an alleged mortgage fraud scam are outraged at the terms of his settlement with state prosecutors.
Miguel Angel Lopez-Soleta, 44, pleaded no contest to felony grand theft and embezzlement from an elderly person through his Rohnert Park business, Mortgage Modifiers, in 2012.
Lopez-Soleta will only serve one year in jail and receive five years of probation.
According to former client Robert Gillis, whose mother lost her Novato home to foreclosure because of Lopez-Soleta, “It’s totally unacceptable. None of the victims agree with it. They are so upset.”
Caroline S. Chen, the deputy attorney general handling the case for Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.
The only good bit of news is that the real estate license of Miguel Angel Lopez-Soleta has been revoked by the California Bureau of Real Estate.
Read the full article in the Press Democrat.