Two men from Orange County California were jailed on Wednesday for taking part in a multi-million dollar fraudulent mortgage scheme. The two pretended to be #Lawyers from a successful #Law Firm and defrauded struggling homeowners by asking for legal fees in order to help them easily settle their mortgage loans. Ronald Rodis, 52 and Charles Wayne Farris, 56 were jailed after pleading guilty to committing wire and mail fraud. The judge handling the case also ordered Farris to pay $3,534,927.43 in restitution while Rodis was ordered to pay $3,826,947.95 in restitution.

The defendants' admissions

The defendants had previously admitted to participating in a scheme whereby they induced homeowners to make payments of between $3,500 and $5,500 to their law firm that was operating illegally.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The defendants and others promised struggling homeowners that they can have their home loans modified by helping them negotiate with mortgage lenders; they never achieved this promise. These crimes were committed between late 2008 and mid-2009.

According to the justice department, the defendants played a significant role in defrauding homeowners who were facing foreclosure during the mortgage crisis. The justice department also stated that the two and others offered to save the homes of owners as well as offered to help them have their mortgage payments modified.

Rodis owned the Rodis Law Group (RLG)

Rodis is a licensed attorney in California. He allowed others to use his name when dealing with clients. Rodis also made radio advertisements and encouraged homeowners to call RLG. Rodis advertised that his firm has highly experienced and skilled attorneys that could help homeowners lower their principal balance and the interest rates they pay on their home loans.

Advertisements

RLG did not have experienced lawyers at that time and rarely achieved what it promised customers. It also had a telemarketing program that had many telemarketers who made numerous phone call to mortgage homeowners who were struggling to pay their loans.

Past similar incidences

In February, a lawyer from Easton pleaded guilty to taking advantage of homeowners who were unable to repay their mortgage loans. Bradford Barneys aged 51 held numerous meetings with homeowners and falsely told them that he could purchase their homes. He arranged fake sales and promised to pay the mortgage debts of the homes. After acquiring the houses, he rented them out and pocketed the rental income. The homes were later foreclosed due to unpaid mortgage loan repayments.

In May this year, a Long Island attorney was jailed for defrauding Queens homeowners. The 53-year-old lawyer promised homeowners that he would repay their mortgages after he helped them sell their properties. The attorney would later sell the homes but never settled the loans balances of them. He also did not inform buyers that the houses they are buying have pending loan repayments. His fraudulent schemes created a nightmare to both sellers and buyers of the houses.