Four Texas residents were charged with felony offenses this past week for operating a foreclosure rescue scheme from approximately February 2012 through January 2013, according to the United States Department of Justice (USDOJ).
U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas said that the following defendants, Mark Demetri Stein, 36, of Carrollton, Texas, Richard Bruce Stevens, 51, of San Antonio, Texas, Bruce Kevin Hawkins, 52, of Desoto, Texas, and Christina Renee Caveny,37, of Dallas were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and five counts of mail fraud.
The defendants had allegedly defrauded about 70 struggling homeowners who were facing foreclosure and collected approximately $242,000 in illegal proceeds. They used sham foreclosure rescue companies has a front for the scam and used third parties to contact homeowners falsely stating that they had “investors” standing by who would purchase their current loan from their mortgage lender or purchase the homeowner’s loan at a reduced price through a “short sale” process.
According to the USDOJ, the defendants had told the victims to make all future mortgage payments to them and they were told ignore late payment notices sent by lenders. They also conducted a fraudulent loan “closing” for each homeowner in which the homeowner had to pay them a large down payment on the new “loan.”
The defendants pocketed all the money for their own personal needs.
The conspirators also falsely stated that they could “sell” their property back to the homeowner with a new loan, and they homeowners to file for bankruptcy in order to delay foreclosure and conceal the crimes of the defendants.