Friday, July 07, 2017

Maryland Feds Score Guilty Pleas From Pair, Jury Conviction Against Another For Roles In Peddling "Principal Reduction" Foreclosure Rescue Racket That Duped Financially Strapped Homeowners Out Of Upfront Fees, Monthly Payments In Exchange For False Promises To Negotiate Reduced Loan Payoffs With Their Home Lenders

From the Office of the U.,S. Attorney (Greenbelt, Maryland):
  • A federal jury convicted Ana Maritza Gomez, age 44, of Hyattsville, Maryland, today [June 23] on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and five counts of mail fraud arising from a scheme to defraud victims through a foreclosure rescue fraud scam.

    Two co-defendants, Rene De Jesus De Leon, age 48, and Pedrina Rodriguez Bonilla, age 38, both of Silver Spring, Maryland, have also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for their involvement in the same scheme.
    According to evidence presented at the six-day trial, from at least late 2011 to August 2015, Gomez and her co-conspirators claimed that they could help homeowners who wanted to modify their mortgage loans and prevent foreclosure of their homes. The conspirators sold the victims on a “principal reduction” program that included an upfront fee, typically between $3,000 and monthly payments for 10 to 15 years. Gomez and her co-conspirators told the victims to make monthly payments to the conspirators and to companies they controlled, in lieu of to the homeowners’ lenders, as part of the conspirators program. The companies controlled by Gomez’s co-conspirators were named Marketing Multiservices LLC and Innovative Solutions Services LLC.

    According to the indictment and court documents, the conspirators mailed monthly invoices to the homeowner victims that falsely indicated that the “principal balance” was being paid down. Some of the victims paid Gomez in person each month at her residence; or some of the victims deposited their payments directly into bank accounts controlled by Gomez’s co-conspirators. The conspirators told the victims not to open any mail from their lenders and instead provide it to the conspirators. The conspirators did not, however, negotiate with lenders of behalf of the homeowners. Many of the victims lost their homes.
Source: Hyattsville, Maryland Woman Convicted of Mail and Wire Fraud (Fraudulently Claimed She Could Save Victims’ Homes from Foreclosure).