Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ohio Pair Get At Least 7 Years Prison Time For Roles In Running Loan Modification Ripoff That Fleeced Financially Strapped Homeowners Out Of Over $1.1 Million

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Toledo, Ohio):
  • Two Toledo-area men were sentenced to prison for stealing more than $1.1 million from hundreds of people through a fraudulent loan-modification scheme, said Acting U.S. Attorney David A. Sierleja and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.

    Jason J. Keating, 38, of Toledo was sentenced to nine years in prison while and Christopher J. Howder, 40, of Perrysburg, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

    Keating was ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution while Howder was ordered to pay $561,000 in restitution.

    Both pleaded guilty last year to charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and multiple counts of mail fraud and wire fraud.

    Keating and Howder worked at Making Home Affordable USA (MHAUSA) from 120 10th Street in Toledo, where Keating was self-described president and Howder was the self-described underwriting manager.

    According to court documents filed in the case:

    The company used various names but homeowners were told MHAUSA had a very high rate of success and that customers could achieve modified interest rates as low as 2 percent.

    Prospective participants were told there was a flat fee for service, generally between $495 and $795. Participants were told to stop making monthly mortgage payments to their lenders and instead to pay a percentage of their mortgage to MHAUSA.

    Participants were told MHAUSA would hold these payments in a “stimulus reserve” account to demonstrate the participants could reliably make payments, and that once the loans were modified, the money would be turned over to the lenders.

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