Thursday, October 20, 2016

California Man Gets 12 Months Imprisonment For Misrepresenting Status With HUD, Misusing Government Seal In Connection With Peddling Loan Modification Services To Financially Strapped Homeowners

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (New Haven, Connecticut):
  • Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOHN VESCERA, 60, of Dana Point, Calif., was sentenced [...] to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for false advertising and misusing a government seal in connection with the provision of mortgage modification services.
    ***
    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.

    Through this scheme, 302 victims lost a total of $374,622. Many of these victims were previously compensated after VESCERA and First One paid approximately $1.5 million to the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America in March 2013 to resolve a federal lawsuit in the Central District of California. As part of this criminal case, VESCERA paid restitution of $30,320 to 24 of the victims who were not identified at the time the federal lawsuit was settled.

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