Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ohio Man Gets 57 Months For Scamming Real Estate Investors, Slapping Bogus Liens On Unwitting Homeowners' Property, Running Rent Skimming Racket

In Colimbus, Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch reports:
  • A Licking County man was sentenced to nearly five years in prison this morning in connection with a mortgage scam that defrauded more than 40 people. Common Pleas Judge Jon R. Spahr sentenced Joseph C. McClain, 31, of Heath, to four years and 11 months imprisonment. [...] McClain pleaded guilty this month to 25 counts of grand theft. He faced more than 37 years in prison on the charges, which stem from defrauding investors of his real-estate-investment company out of more than $400,000 and using the money to pay bills, buy vehicles and take a cruise.

  • The complex scheme involved taking investors' money for the purpose of buying and refurbishing homes and then reselling them. Instead, he kept the money and fabricated statements that showed the investments growing. He also put liens on homes and gave them to investors to prove that they owned interest in the properties, all without the real owners' knowledge.

  • In other cases, he told owners that he would sell their homes but instead rented them without paying the mortgages. McClain also had employees call the mortgage companies and pretend to be the homeowners to keep the companies from contacting the real owners when the mortgages were not paid.

Source: Mortgage scammer sentenced to nearly five years.

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