Monday, February 8, 2010

Delaware DA Levels 21-Count Indictment Against Alleged Foreclosure Rescue Racket Using "Divine" Cover In Sale Leaseback, Equity Stripping Ripoff

In Dover, Delaware, reports:

  • Master Builders for Christ and Vision Builders Christian Center, along with three of its principals, have been charged in a 21-count indictment in Delaware, on charges of running a massive mortgage rescue scam. Warrants have been issued for the arrest of Jamaar Manlove, Larry Manlove, and Rhonda Manlove, and racketeering liens have been placed on their assets. Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden says the case is believed to be one of the largest mortgage rescue fraud indictments in the state's history.(1)

  • The indictment alleges that Jamaar Manlove ran a criminal enterprise involving theft, money laundering, and forgery in which he preyed on vulnerable homeowners who faced imminent foreclosure. In these scams, struggling homeowners are convinced to sell their homes to third parties to avoid foreclosure, based on the false promise that they can repurchase their homes through a complex sale/lease-back arrangement when their financial situations improve.(2) In reality, this never happens. Instead, these schemes impose huge hidden fees that take thousands of dollars of equity away from homeowners, and they ultimately lose their homes, unable to obtain financing to repurchase their home.

For the story, see Church Groups Indicted in Delaware Mortgage Rescue Scheme (Largest foreclosure rescue scam in state history, attorney general says).

See also, The News Journal: Pastors accused in mortgage scheme (Middletown couple face charges in rescue scam).

(1) According to a story in The News Journal, the Web site for the church features pictures of the smiling Manloves, professions of faith and descriptions of the church's mission to be "a trailblazer in the world of business and government" whose "message of faith will heal the broken hearted, preach wealth to the poor. ..." The About Us section of the Web site states, "Our integrity is above reproach, and we overcome all life's challenges by maximizing every circumstance and obstacle that we would encounter."

(2) Reportedly, prosecutors have so far identified four victims in the criminal case, plus a fifth victim in a separate but related civil action, with an estimated loss of about $280,000. The Attorney General's Office believes more may have been victimized, and the losses will rise as the investigation proceeds.

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