Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pair Peddling Nationwide "Walk Away Today" Foreclosure Rescue Racket Admit Scheme Was Nothing More Than Giant Rent Skimming Operation That Reaped Million$; 100s Of Duped Homeowners Signed Over Deeds; Perpetrators Then Pocketed Cash From Subsequent Tenants While Filing Phony HAMP Loan Mod Requests To Prolong Stiffing Lenders Out Of House Payments

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Alexandria, Virginia):

  • Mark S. Farhood, 49, formerly of San Diego, Cal., and Jason S. Sant, 37, of Lecanto, Fla., pleaded guilty [] to conspiracy charges in connection with their operation of a nationwide online foreclosure rescue scam that went by various names, including Home Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today, and used various web sites, including and, to deceive hundreds of vulnerable, distressed homeowners into surrendering their properties to the company.
  • According to court records, Farhood and Sant co-owned Home Advocate Trustees, which also went by the names Walk Away Today, First Equity Trustees, Home Security Consultants, Sell Fast USA, Short Sale Buyer, USA Sell House Fast, and USA Rental Housing. They marketed the businesses nationwide as purchasers of distressed real estate and a means by which vulnerable homeowners could avoid foreclosure and the accompanying negative effects on their credit.

    The companies told homeowners they were in the business of negotiating with lenders to purchase mortgage notes at a discount and falsely claimed to have been in business for seventeen years, to have experienced a 90% success rate in purchasing such notes, and to be the nation’s largest volume buyer of short sale and over-leveraged real estate.

    As Sant and Farhood admitted in connection with their pleas, the businesses were a fraud, no such negotiations with lenders ever took place, and the scheme was merely a way for them to take possession of hundreds of residential properties, including homes within the Eastern District of Virginia, at virtually no cost and then reap millions of dollars in profits by renting the homes to unsuspecting tenants.

    Farhood and Sant further admitted that as part of the scheme, they submitted fraudulent loan modification applications to mortgage lenders under the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”) in the name of homeowners, without the homeowners’ knowledge or consent.

    Farhood and Sant used the fraudulent applications to stall foreclosures on the properties under their control and for which no mortgage payments were being made and to maximize the time period during which they could collect rental income.

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