Mortgage scams net some jail time
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
A little enforcement news. California and federal officials report this week that they’ve moved against several home mortgage and loan-assistance scams, shutting down two enterprises and sending four people to prison in another.
At the state level, the attorney general’s office announced it had closed two firms that allegedly charged consumers upfront fees for nonexistent loan-modification services. The closed firms are U.S. Foreclosure Relief and H.E. Servicing. Principals George Escalante and Cesar Lopez, and legal representative Adrian Pomery were also barred from working in real estate, and ordered to make $1 million in restitution through the sale of frozen assets, including jewelry and cars.
And the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles reported a fourth defendant in a mortgage scam, Terral Toole of Lake Elsinore, was sentenced Monday to more than seven years in prison after pleading guilty in a scam that netted $4 million in proceeds for homes that were not for sale.
Small consolation for those scammed, but still …