Monday, July 16, 2012

Virginia Man Gets Six Months 'Soft Time' For Role In Sale Leaseback Peddling Racket That Ripped Off High-Equity, No Cash Homeowners Facing Foreclosure

In Norfolk, Virginia, The Virginian Pilot reports:

  • A Chesapeake man received six months' home detention Monday for his part in a foreclosure-rescue scam, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    Ray D. Gata also was placed on probation for five years and ordered to pay $189,185 in restitution. He must pay $500 a month, the spokesman said. In February, Gata pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Norfolk to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

    According to court documents, he helped his nephew, Philip Villasis, scam four homeowners in 2006 and 2007. Villasis promised the homeowners they could remain in their homes after they sold them to him or Gata, paying one of them rent while they repaired their credit.(1)

    After the homeowners fell behind in rent, however, Villasis would evict them and sometimes keep their possessions. Villasis pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced to 33 months in prison.

(1) For more on this type of foreclosure rescue ripoff, see:

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