Friday, February 03, 2017

Providence Feds Bust Racket That Allegedly Tricked At Least 14 Homeowners Seeking Foreclosure Help Out Of Their Homes, Then Flipped Vacated Houses To Duped Investors In Fraudulent Short Sale Scam

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Providence, Rhode Island):
  • A 14-count federal indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Providence charges two individuals, Hasan Hussain, 55, of Princeton, N.J., and Ricardo Abreu, 50, of Cranston, R.I., with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to defraud financial institutions, investors and financially distressed homeowners of at least 14 properties in Providence, Pawtucket and Cranston of fees, rental income, mortgage payment funds, property ownership and/or proceeds from the sale of their properties.
    It is alleged that Hasan Hussain, through his various enterprises, with the assistance of employee and co-conspirator Ricardo Abreu, offered distressed homeowners loan modification, property management and property short sales services for a fee. Instead, it is alleged, the defendants conspired to fraudulently steal those funds, and to acquire and sell at least fourteen properties owned by distressed homeowners, many of whom are not fluent in English.

    It is alleged that as part of the scheme, Hussain instructed distressed homeowners to vacate their properties while he worked to acquire loan modifications or short sales on their behalf. After taking control of the properties, Hussain not only pocketed fees and mortgage payments provided by the homeowners, he rented out some of the properties and pocketed rental payments without the owners’ knowledge.

    It is also alleged that as part of the scheme, Hussain and Abreu acquired the properties in short sales and then solicited investors to purchase these properties at much higher prices thereby earning substantial profit. It is alleged that Abreu and others damaged the properties in order to reduce their appraised value prior to a bank inspection. Investors were promised investment opportunities that would require no down payment. It is alleged that the defendants caused false mortgage applications and other documentation to be filed to lending institutions for conventional bank and FHA mortgage loans for the buyers. Some of the documentation contained the names and personal identifying information of individuals who were unaware that their information was being used.