Thursday, November 17, 2011

Player In Upfront Fee Loan Modification & Foreclosure Rescue Racket Cops Felony Grand Theft Plea; Restitution Could Amount To $150K

In Monterey County, California, The Salinas Californian reports:

  • A Gonzales woman pleaded guilty to felony grand theft on Monday in connection with a foreclosure rescue scam that targeted Latino homeowners. Maria Ponce, 55, will be sentenced in January and could serve one year in jail as well serving five years probation and paying about $150,000 in restitution, said a news release from Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo.

  • Ponce convinced homeowners that she could have their mortgage payments lowered or their foreclosures reversed and she was paid as much as $4,500 but none of her clients ever got a refund or reduced loan payments.

  • The investigation began in 2008 after Gonzales police started getting complaints. Victims told authorities that Ponce and Melissa Garcia hosted sales meetings in Ponce's home, according to the release.

  • The rescue scam unraveled in June 2008 after Garcia was arrested on felony elder abuse and grand theft charges in Santa Cruz County, the news release said. Garcia previously pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy and awaits sentencing, according to the release.

Source: Woman pleads guilty in foreclosure scam.

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