Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Foreclosure Rescue Operator Faces Up To Six Years In Prison After Copping Guilty Plea To False Advertising, Misusing U.S. Government Seal In Connection w/ Peddling Loan Modification Services

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (New Haven, Connecticut):
  • [J]OHN VESCERA, 60, of Dana Point, Calif., waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty [...] in New Haven to false advertising and misusing a government seal in connection with the provision of mortgage modification services.

    According to court documents and statements made in court, VESCERA was the President of First One Lending Corporation (“First One”) in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. During the peak of the national mortgage crisis, VESCERA and First One offered home mortgage loan modification assistance to homeowners across the United States, including in Connecticut, who were having difficulty repaying their mortgage loans.
    First One [] misrepresented its status with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). First One employees were instructed to inform homeowners that “[w]e’re a HUD approved lender and we represent the government loan modification programs."

    In addition, certain of First One’s forms claimed that the company provided “HUD . . . Housing Counseling assistance” and bore HUD’s seal.

    In truth, First One had no affiliation with the government mortgage loan assistance programs and was not licensed or approved by HUD for housing counseling or home mortgage loan modification services.

    VESCERA pleaded guilty to one count of misuse of a government seal and one count of false advertising. Chief Judge [Janet C.] Hall scheduled sentencing for July 26, 2016, at which time VESCERA faces a maximum term of imprisonment of six years.