Monday, June 4, 2012

Suspect Pinched In Alleged South Florida Ripoff That Scammed Church Out Of $300K+; Cash Purported To Be Deposit For New Facility Acquisition

In West Palm Beach, Florida, The Palm Beach Post reports:

  • A second corporate officer for a West Palm Beach-based foreclosure rescue company was arrested Thursday after a state investigation into allegations that he misused hundreds of thousands of dollars taken from a Boynton Beach church.

  • Louis Rothman, vice president of the Nationwide Investment Firm Corp. and the registered agent and treasurer for the unlicensed Interstate Title Services and Escrow Corp., faces charges of fraud and acting as an insurance agent without a license. The 75-year-old Delray Beach resident turned himself in Thursday after an arrest warrant was issued based on a Florida Department of Financial Services investigation.

  • Rothman has held high positions in three companies led by Nationwide Investment Firm's President Guilfort Dieuvil, who was arres­ted May 10 and charged with 16 counts of obtaining property by fraud, one count of organized scheme to defraud in the first degree and grand theft. Dieuvil allegedly duped home­owners to sign over deeds with promises of mortgage relief.

  • Detectives found Nationwide had acquired 104 properties in Florida and Georgia worth $9.5 million. But homeowners complain they received little or no help and ended up owing mortgage debt on properties they no longer owned.

  • Rothman's arrest Thursday stems from a deal with the Haitian Bethel Baptist Church, which says it was scammed out of $321,222 by Nationwide Mortgage Bankers Corp. and Interstate Title Services and Escrow Corp., companies run by Dieuvil and Rothman, according to Florida Department of State records.

  • The Palm Beach Post reported on the church in November, following an earlier article about a series of lawsuits filed against Nationwide Investment Firm, Dieuvil and Rothman.

  • The church filed a lawsuit saying it gave the money it saved for a new facility to Interstate Title Services and Escrow for what it thought was a deposit to secure a $1 million loan from Nationwide Mortgage Bankers, Corp. It never got the loan or deposit back, according to the lawsuit.

  • On May 23, the church won a $371,927 judgment against Rothman, Dieuvil, Nationwide Mortgage Bankers Corp., Interstate Title and Nationwide Financial Consultants - another company led by Dieuvel.

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