Federal agents recently busted four men who worked at telemarketing "boiler rooms" that pitched loan modification services to distressed homeowners out of companies with various names in Irvine, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Garden Grove and Westminster from late 2008 to early 2010.
Charged in a 33-count indictment that includes allegations of mail fraud and wire fraud and, in one case, money laundering were: business owner and principal Aminullah Sarpas (who also used the names Amin Sarpas and David Sarpas), 32, of Irvine; salesman Samuel Paul Bain (who also used the name Paul Bain), 35, of Tustin; principal sales manager Damon Grant Carriger, 36, of Corona; and manager and chief accountant Louis Saggiani, 64, of Huntington Beach.
All have been arraigned at the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
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According to a recent federal indictment, the loan-modification programs offered by the defendants to financially distressed homeowners were bogus. Greenleaf Modify, U.S. Homeowners Relief, Waypoint Law Group and the American Lending Review were among the company names they used, according to the U.S. Attorney.
Homeowners were charged advance fees ranging from $1,450 to about $4,200 for loan modifications that were promised to lower monthly mortgage payments and interest rates to as low as 2 percent, according to the feds, who added that some consumers were also promised their up-front money would be refunded if the loan mods did not materialize.
When one company the telemarketers were associated with received too many complaints of doing no loan-mod work and/or failing to pony up refunds, it would be shut down and reopened under a new name, according to the government.