Saturday, July 09, 2016

Resigned From State Bar With Charges Pending, Ex-California Attorney Cops Guilty Plea For Role In Loan Modification Racket; Used Boiler Room Telemarketing Scam Masquerading As Reputable Law Firm To Fleece Financially Strapped Homeowners Out Of Million$; Two Co-Defendants To Face Trial

From the U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, D.C.):
  • The Department of Justice announced that a former California licensed attorney pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, for his role in a multi-million dollar fraudulent mortgage modification scheme.

    Ronald Rodis, 51, of Irvine, California, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter for the Central District of California to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
    ***
    “This defendant posed as an accomplished attorney who could provide quality legal services – and hope – to struggling homeowners,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen Decker of the Central District of California. “But the promises were bogus. Rodis Law Group made few efforts to assist homeowners, who paid thousands of dollars in last-ditch attempts to keep their homes, many of which entered foreclosure.”

    Rodis admitted that, between October 2008 and June 2009, he participated in a scheme with Bryan D’Antonio, Charles Wayne Farris, and others to induce homeowners to pay between $3,500 and $5,500 for the services of the Rodis Law Group (RLG).(1)

    Rodis and his co-conspirators made numerous misrepresentations regarding the RLG’s ability to negotiate loan modifications from the homeowners’ mortgage lenders. Rodis recorded radio advertisements encouraging struggling homeowners to call RLG. In the radio ads, Rodis falsely claimed that RLG consisted of “a team of experienced attorneys” who were “highly skilled in negotiating lower interest rates and even lowering your principal balance.”

    In fact, RLG was a telemarketing operation that never had a team of experienced attorneys. During much of the scheme, Rodis was the only attorney at RLG.
    ***
    Rodis’s co-defendants, Bryan D’Antonio and Charles Wayne Farris, are each charged with 10 felony counts – nine counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy. Each of these counts carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. In addition, D’Antonio is charged with 13 counts of criminal contempt for violating a 2001 federal court order, which permanently banned D’Antonio from participating in future telemarketing operations. Criminal contempt of court has no statutory maximum penalty. D’Antonio and Farris are scheduled for trial beginning Sept. 20.
Source: Former Attorney Pleads Guilty to Participating in Fraudulent Mortgage Modification Scheme.
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(1) Rackets of this type have played a key role in driving the State Bar of California's Client Security Fund (which purports to help alleviate clients' losses resulting from the dishonest conduct of their attorneys) into insolvency. See Golden State's Head Auditor Rips California Bar (For, Among Other Things, Screwing The Already-Screwed Victims Of Dishonest Lawyers By Stiffing Them Through Its Currently-Insolvent Client Protection Fund, Obscuring Fact That Payout Estimates Approach $19 Million While 2015 Year-End Cash Balance Sits At Only $2.2 Million; Victims Can Be Left Sucking Wind For Years Before Claims Are Paid).

For similar "attorney ripoff reimbursement funds" that sometimes help cover the financial mess created by the dishonest conduct of lawyers licensed in other states and Canada, see:
Maps available courtesy of The National Client Protection Organization, Inc.  attorney ripoff reimbursement fund

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