Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Head Of Suspected Southeast Michigan Loan Modification Racket Feels State AG's Pinch, Faces Felony Racketeering, False Pretenses Charges

From the Office of the Michigan Attorney General:

  • Attorney General Bill Schuette [] announced charges against a Westland man for his role in an extensive foreclosure-rescue fraud operation that scammed at least 360 victims out of $800,000. Rickey White, 46, of Westland, and his company, Braunstein & Associates, face criminal charges for collecting upfront fees and impersonating a mortgage modification company.
  • The criminal charges come as the result of an investigation by the Attorney General after complaints against the company were filed with Attorney General Schuette's Consumer Protection Division. The investigation revealed that from December 2009 through May 2011 White allegedly operated two companies that were marketed as mortgage modification businesses: Braunstein & Associates and Expert Financial.

  • It is alleged White offered prospective clients mortgage loan modifications for a fee, with a full money-back guarantee. White allegedly told victims his companies employed expert attorneys who would review their lender files to pre-qualify the homeowner for a mortgage loan modification. White allegedly assured clients his attorneys would file the modification proposals with the homeowner's lender on their behalf.

  • Investigation revealed that White allegedly had no attorneys on staff, and that modification proposals were either incomplete or never actually submitted to the banks.

  • Schuette alleges White operated Expert Financial from December 2009 through September 2010. During this time, White allegedly victimized more than 300 clients, who lost a total of $700,000.

  • When White learned the Attorney General was investigating his company, it is alleged he closed Expert Financial and opened Braunstein & Associates. From September 2010 through May 2011, Schuette alleges White victimized at least 60 homeowners, who were scammed out of more than $100,000.

  • White and his company, Braunstein & Associates are each charged with the following:

    One count of Conducting Criminal Enterprises (Racketeering), a felony punishable by up to twenty years in prison;

    Two counts of False Pretenses - $1,000-$20,000, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or three times the value of money or property involved.

No comments: