Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feds Indict Trio In Alleged South Florida Sale Leaseback Equity Stripping Racket

From the U.S. Department of Justice:

  • Lisa Wright, 46, and Cathy Saffer, 52, of Pompano Beach, Fla., were charged [] with a conspiracy to defraud homeowners and banks in a foreclosure rescue scheme, announced the Department of Justice. Also charged was Barrington Coombs, 57, a certified public accountant of Weston, Fla., who participated in the scheme.

  • A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Florida returned an indictment charging Wright and Saffer with one count of conspiracy, three counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud. The grand jury charged Coombs with one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.

  • The indictment states that Wright and Saffer operated an alleged business called Foreclosure Solution Specialists (FSS) from 2006 to 2009. Through FSS, Wright and Saffer allegedly targeted homeowners facing foreclosure, advertising that FSS could assist those homeowners in remaining in their homes.

  • According to the indictment, when contacted by distressed homeowners seeking assistance, Wright and Saffer misrepresented to those homeowners that their homes would be sold to investors. Wright and Saffer also allegedly claimed that customers could remain in their homes after the sales and promised them an opportunity to repurchase the homes at a later date.

  • According to the indictment, rather than selling the homes to legitimate investors, Wright and Saffer designed sham sales to straw purchasers whom they paid to participate in the scheme.


  • According to the indictment, these sham sales drew equity out of the homes, which Wright and Saffer pocketed for their own purposes. After doing so, Wright and Saffer allowed the loans to go into foreclosure. Homeowners ultimately lost all of the equity in their homes, and most of the victims were forced to move out of their homes.

For the Justice Department press release, see Three Charged with Fraud in Florida Foreclosure Rescue Scheme.

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