Thursday, August 20, 2015

Dubious Duo Get Tagged w/ Another Civil Lawsuit By State Authorities For Allegedly Peddling Bogus Loan Modification Services; Pair Apparently Continues Avoiding Criminal Prosecutors' Radar (Where Are The Feds?)

In Cleveland, Ohio, cleveland.com reports:
  • Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit [] accusing two California men of operating fictitious loan modification services in Ohio.

    According to the lawsuit, Mehdi Moarefian and Serj Geutssoyan told consumers they could "avoid foreclosure by negotiating a loan modification or other loan adjustment." The men charged $995 to $5,495 as "initial fees" for their services, but did not get loan modifications for any of their clients, the suit states.

    Moarefian and Geutssoyan advertised online and claimed to run several businesses, including "Tree Financial Group" and "Save Point Financial," but the businesses were never incorporated, the lawsuit says. Some clients were also told Moarefian and Geutssoyan could help them get federal loans, but the men failed to do so. They also refused to provide refunds when people complained about not having their loans modified, the lawsuit states.

    DeWine accuses the two men and their companies of violating Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Debt Adjuster's Act.

    The Attorney General's Office reported that 18 Ohioans fell victim to the scheme, losing an average of $2,000 each. That includes people in Cuyahoga County, where the lawsuit was filed, and elsewhere in the state.

    *** 

    Similar lawsuits have been filed against the two in several other states, including Connecticut and Indiana.(1)(2)
For the story, see Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sues two California men over loan modification business.

For the Ohio AG press release, see Attorney General DeWine Sues California Loan Modification Operators for Failing to Deliver Services.

For the lawsuit, see State of Ohio v Moarefian, et al.
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(1) For examples of some of the legal actions variously taken against this duo by authorities in other states, see Connecticut: In re Moarefian; Indiana: State of Indiana v. Geutssoyan; Maryland In re Geutssoyan; Oregon: In re Premier Financial Center.

(2) Maybe it's time to call in the Feds to criminally prosecute this pair (ie. mail and/or wire fraud, conspiracy, etc. Go here and go here for a few examples). Going after these guys with civil lawsuits appears to be a waste of time. Regrettably, local prosecutors may be too busy to go after them with state law charges (ie. theft by deception/theft by false pretenses, fraud, racketeering, etc.), assuming, of course, they actually committed the acts the Ohio Attorney General's office alleges in its lawsuit.

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