Sunday, December 9, 2012

Duo Who Ripped Off $600K In Home Equity From Victims Of Foreclosure Rescue Ruse Get Five Years For Theft By Deception; Pair Remain Sociopathically Uncertain About What They Did Wrong, Despite Fleeing When Arrest Warrants Issued

In Mercer County, New Jersey, The Trentonian reports:

  • A Ewing couple was sentenced to five years in prison, for exploiting and deceiving vulnerable homeowners and large banking institutions, out of more than $1 million, through a two-year-long mortgage fraud scheme.

    Joann Smith, 47, and her boyfriend Wayne Betha, 42, pleaded guilty in July to theft by deception and failure to file tax returns. According to the N.J. Office of the Attorney General, the couple ran a Trenton-based real estate firm and admitted they defrauded mortgage companies out of $641,800 and stole $600,000 from home sellers between August 2006 and February 2008.
  • The couple, which used their firm, S&B Property Management and Maintenance LLC of Trenton deposited more than $600,000, from proceeds Smith received from the sale of 11 homes, into their personal accounts. The victims, according to reports, were suffering from severe financial problems, and could not pay their mortgages.

    Proceeds from the sales were able to be diverted by telling the sellers and title companies that they owed expenses for property repairs that were never done. The couple also demanded consultant fees that the sellers had not authorized.
  • “I’m kind of lost here your honor I heard everything (the prosecutor) said and everything my lawyer presented and I understand about the plea agreement and everything and even when I read the pre-sentencing agreement about what I did,” said Betha when addressing the court. “But a lot of people got their money back, so I don’t understand, it was never my intention to harm anybody or hurt anybody, I faked salaries, but (the victims) were going to lose their houses, I was trying to help,” he said with tears in his eyes.

    When Smith was asked to address the judge, she seemed defiant, uncertain that she had done anything wrong or if in fact there were victims of the scheme. “Your honor we’ve been going through this case for four years, not one victim came forward to try to recoup their money back, not one person came forward try to get not even $10 back,” she said.

    No victim ever came forward, they never came to court, that’s what I feel if they’re saying I took all these people money, not one came forward.”(1)

No comments: