Thursday, August 13, 2009

Maryland Co-Conspirator Gets 54 Months For Role In Bogus Sale Leaseback, Foreclosure Rescue Scam; To Forfeit $2.25M In Proceeds From Criminal Acts

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Maryland):
  • U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow sentenced Earnest Lewis, age 52, of Takoma Park, Maryland, [Wednesday] to 54 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud arising from a scheme in which the conspirators offered to help financially vulnerable individuals save their homes from foreclosure, and instead defrauded homeowners and mortgage lenders, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.(1) Lewis previously agreed to forfeit $2,228,878, generated as proceeds of the criminal activity [...].


  • According to Earnest Lewis’ plea agreement, from at least 2004 until May 2008, Michael Lewis aired television advertisements that targeted financially vulnerable individuals, representing that he could improve their credit, save their homes from foreclosure and assist them with bankruptcy. [...] Together with Michael Lewis, Earnest Lewis and Winston Thomas specifically targeted individuals who owned and had equity in their homes, but were facing foreclosure on their homes because of their inability to make monthly mortgage payments. The co-conspirators fraudulently represented to the homeowners that their “lease/buy-back program” would help the homeowners to keep their homes.

For the entire press release, see Conspirator Sentenced to over 4 Years in Jail in Mortgage Fraud Scheme.

See also, WBAL-TV Channel 11: Man Gets 4 Years In Jail For Mortgage Fraud (Earnest Lewis, Brother Convicted Of Conning Homeowners).

Go here for earlier posts on this prosecution.

(1) Cheryl Brooke, age 52, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Winston Thomas, age 43, of New Carrollton, Maryland pleaded guilty to their participation in the scheme; sentencing is scheduled for Brooke and Thomas on September 11, 2009 and September 21, 2009, respectively. Michael K. Lewis, age 57, of Takoma Park, Maryland pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bankruptcy fraud in connection with the scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 3, 2009. financial diet