Ill-gotten gain
Ill-gotten gain

Orange County Lawyer in Loan Modification Scam Loses Federal Appeal

For several years beginning in about 2008, Orange County attorney/businessman Paul Jeffrey Lucas and his Lucas Law Center ran a mortgage loan modification scam that ripped off numerous consumers between $1,000 to $3,995 each.

From their Aliso Viejo offices, Lucas and his employees promised to perform work, took fees and then did nothing meaningful as unsuspecting homeowners lost their properties, according to government reports.

In Dec. 2010, the State Bar of California disbarred Lucas for incompetence, nabbing unearned fees and failure to cooperate with the agency's investigations.

"[Lucas] willfully committed acts involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or corruption," concluded the agency, which also ordered him to pay restitution to ripped off consumers.

Officials at the Federal Trade Administration (FTC) also filed a complaint and won injunctive relief for the deceptive practices. Lucas, a graduate of Southwestern University School of Law, filed motions to get U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter to reconsider the case.

But this week a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel rejected his complaints.

"The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Lucas' motion for reconsideration because Lucas failed to show grounds warranting reconsideration," concluded judges Kim McLane Wardlaw, Richard Clifton and N. Randy Smith.

And Lucas's other complaints about having a crappy defense lawyer and being a victim of misconduct by the FTC, State Bar and Better Business Bureau?

The appellate judges called those assertions "unpersuasive."

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