Monday, November 28, 2011

Home Refi Scam Lands Mortgage Broker In Hot Water After Alleged Escrow Cash Ripoff; Unwitting Couple Ultimately Left Homeless By Foreclosure

In Los Angeles, California, The Modesto Bee reports:

  • Authorities arrested a Los Angeles man Tuesday after a federal grand jury indicted him in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme that victimized a Tuolumne County couple who lost their home.

  • Secret Service agents arrested Steve Zaven Kessedjian, 48, in Los Angeles on suspicion of mail fraud, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento. Kessedjian's company, Amerilend Inc. in Woodland Hills, helped homeowners secure loans to refinance their homes. When a loan was funded, Amerilend would use Targa Escrow, another business owned by Kessedjian, to disburse the escrow funds, federal prosecutors said.

  • In December 2007, an Amerilend employee helped the Tuolumne County couple to refinance their home to consolidate their credit card bills. Prosecutors said the bank paid off the first mortgage and then wired the remainder of the loan, $57,343, to Targa Escrow. Instead of disbursing the rest of the loan to the credit card companies, Kessedjian took the funds for his own purposes, according to the indictment.

  • The prosecutors said the victims lost their home to foreclosure and their home-based business, as they could not make payments for the refinanced loan and pay the creditors who were supposed to have been paid.

  • If convicted, Kessedjian faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and up to three years of parole.

Source: Suspected scammer of Tuolumne couple arrested in fraud case.

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Los Angeles Mortgage Broker Arrested For Stealing Escrow Funds From Tuolumne County Couple.

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