Thursday, July 25, 2013

Michigan AG Pinches Suspected Scam Operator On Charges Of False Pretenses, Larceny By Conversion For Allegedly Clipping Upfront Fees From Consumers In Exchange For Purported Real Estate Negotiation Services

From the Office of the Michigan Attorney General:

  • Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette [] announced the arrest of Eric Lamarr Drake, 37, of Detroit, for allegedly operating a fraudulent mortgage banking business under false pretenses by promising mortgage services, retaining clients' money and never delivering refunds to those clients. The charges follow an investigation by the Attorney General's Corporate Oversight Division.
  • Drake allegedly owned and operated D & F Funding, using a bogus Novi post office box listing and advertising two fake Southfield offices, all located in Oakland County. He misrepresented himself to clients allegedly posing as a mortgage banker with Pathway Financial, LLC in Southfield at a time when Pathway Financial was no longer in business. Drake also allegedly promoted himself as a real estate negotiator, who allegedly collected upfront fees to broker mortgages, bargain down home prices, modify mortgages and pre-approve mortgage credit.

    He allegedly collected fees between $1,000 and $5,480 for his services in the Oakland and Wayne County realty markets. Drake disappeared before any of his clients received the promised end of their bargain and allegedly retained money from at least five southeastern Michigan victims. When pressured for refunds, Drake allegedly promised several of his victims recompense. Those refunds were never made.

    Schuette filed the following criminal charges against Eric Lamarr Drake on Thursday, July 18, 2013:

    Five Counts of False Pretenses - $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by 5 years and/or $10,000, or 3 times the value of the money or property involved, whichever is greater; and,

    Five Counts of Larceny by Conversion - $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, a felony punishable by 5 years and/or $10,000, or 3 times the value of the property stolen, whichever is greater.

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