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CALIFORNIA DEFENDANTS INDICTED FOR DEFRAUDING VICTIMS IN LARGEST LOAN MODIFICATION SCHEME EVER PROSECUTED

tips-to-avoid-a-student-loan-scamSANTA ANA – An indictment was unsealed today against seven defendants, including an attorney, for defrauding over $13.5 million from over 3,500 victims in the largest loan modification scheme ever prosecuted in the nation.

From the Newport Beach Police Department & Orange County District Attorney Press Release dated May 22, 2014 (See http://orangecountyda.org/media/prudent.asp)

Defendants
Maziar Bordbar, 31, Irvine, is charged with conspiracy, grand theft, theft from an elder and money laundering. He faces a maximum sentence of 52 years in state prison. He is being held on $9.8 million bail.

Nathaniel Ferrer, 26, Orange, is charged with conspiracy grand theft, theft from an elder and money laundering. He faces a maximum sentence of 27 years and four months in state prison. He is being held on $9.8 million bail.

Pamela Gressier (a licensed California Attorney), 54, Huntington Beach, is charged with conspiracy grand theft, theft from an elder and money laundering. She faces a maximum sentence of 48 years and eight months in state prison. Gressier is a fugitive with a warrant for her arrest.

Saeid Yarandi, 31, Irvine, is charged with conspiracy, grand theft, and money laundering. He faces a maximum sentence 37 years and four months in state prison. Yarandi is a fugitive with a warrant for his arrest.

Roberto Duran, 41, Montebello, Masood Taghizadeh, 64, Laguna Niguel, and Joel Valdellon, 31, Dana Point, are each charged with conspiracy grand theft and theft from an elder. They face a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison. Duran and Valdellon are being held on $5 million bail and Taghizadeh is being held on $3.5 million bail.

Background of the Case
Between Nov. 16, 2010, and June 6, 2011, Bordbar and Yarandi are accused of incorporating Consult Marketing Group, Inc. and Secured Processing, Inc. At the time of the crime, Gressier was a licensed attorney and practicing law in California. Between June 24, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012, Gressier is accused of filing a fictitious business name statement doing business as Prudential Law Group, Prudent Law, Remedy Law, and Remedy Center Law to advertise loan modification services.

Circumstances of the Case
Between June 24, 2011, and Oct. 29, 2013, the Defendants coordinated mailings to thousands of homeowners advertising loan modification services. They hired and trained telemarketers to work as salespersons for homeowners calling in response to the advertisements. Bordbar and Yarandi (non-lawyers) provided “loan mod sales personnel” for Prudential Law and Remedy Center Law.

The Defendants are accused of falsely misrepresenting to approximately 3,500 customers that they qualify for a loan modification, when the defendants (as non-lawyers) had no ability or authority to represent the victims with respect to the mortgage lenders. The defendants are also accused of misrepresenting to customers of Prudent Law and Remedy Law, through their salespeople and website, that they were a law firm and customers would be represented by attorneys [when, in fact, the sales people and other non-lawyers were actually conducting the illegal modification process]. The defendants are accused of illegally charging upfront fees for loan modification services. They are accused of obtaining more than $13.5 million from the victims.

Victims of the loan modification scam reported the case to the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In August 2012, NBPD began investigating this case. On May 14, 2014, NBPD with assistance from the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) arrested Bordbar, Duran, Ferrer, Taghizadeh, and Valdellon.

NBPD, OCDA Bureau of Investigation, USSS, and the Franchise Tax Board investigated this case with assistance from The State Bar of California, FBI, Huntington Beach Police Department, Irvine Police Department, and the California Bureau of Real Estate.

To find out more information about this case and receive future updates, visit the Media Center on the homepage at www.orangecountyda.org and select Prudent/Remedy Law Loan Modification case.

Deputy District Attorney Megan Wagner of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Michigan Supreme Court Judge Gets 1 Year in Jail for Short Sale Fraud

Former Michigan Supreme Court Judge Diane Hathaway was sentenced to 12 months and one day in jail for committing bank fraud during the short sale of her home in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. She will also pay $90,000 in restitution and will spend two years on probation. Hathaway retired January 21, 2013 in the midst of the scandal.

Hathaway was charged with one count of bank fraud after investigators said she transferred ownership of her property in Florida to her daughter so that Hathaway could qualify for the short sale without paying additional penalties to her lender. Hathaway’s bank lost almost $600,000 in the short sale. After the short sale was completed, Hathaway transferred the debt-free Florida home back into her name.

In supporting the FBI’s pursuit of the case and securing prison time for Hathaway, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette stated: “Public corruption scandals have damaged the public’s trust in government and tarnished our state’s reputation. No matter who you are or what position you hold, the same rules apply.”

Robert Foley, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Detroit office, added: “Regardless of a person’s stature or position in life, we must all follow the same set of rules. In this case, an individual in a prominent position of public trust made extremely poor choices that have resulted in criminal activity. The FBI is committed to stopping these illegal acts.”

At sentencing, Hathaway’s attorney argued that the amount of ING Bank’s potential loss was about $40,000, not $90,000 as claimed by prosecutors. He also argued that the bank received $150,000 more from the short sale than if the institution would have had to sell Hathaway’s home through a foreclosure sheriff’s sale after she quit making payments. The court was unmoved by his arguments.

What Is Lawyers Realty Group? Can They Help Me With My Foreclosure Or Short Sale?

Thanks for coming to Lawyers Realty Group; we’re here to help homeowners struggling with foreclosure or contemplating a short sale in the Southern California area. It’s obvious that we’re in the midst of a foreclosure crisis. Within a few miles of my office there are over 1300 active foreclosures. Orange County is losing 500-1000 homes to foreclosure every month. California as a whole had 200,000 foreclosures last year and I don’t see signs of that slowing down. The families that are facing foreclosure are not only going to lose their home, but they also face credit damage and they may be facing liability from their lenders for years to come.

My name is Derik Lewis and I’m a real estate attorney and licensed broker. I created Lawyers Realty Group in an effort to combine my legal knowledge with my broker skills to help homeowners facing foreclosure. A vast majority of these foreclosures are avoidable and I’ve made it my mission to help as many homeowners as possible by doing a short sale and getting the lender to pay the bill.

If you’re struggling to make your mortgage payments or are already in default and facing foreclosure, I’m here to help. I’ve helped countless homeowners who are facing decreased pay, job loss, increased mortgage payments and other tragic situations that have been created by the mortgage meltdown. I’m able to bring 20 years of real estate experience to the table. As a lawyer at a large law firm I represented some of the large banks and I’m now taking everything I learned from representing them and providing it to you while getting them to pay the bill. At this time it’s important that you have active ongoing legal representation as well as real estate services. You should be able to receive both of these at no cost. I’ve solved this problem by forming Lawyers Realty Group. Let me be clear that I am a lawyer and can provide you with the direct representation that you need. My loyalty is to you, the client.

I want you to know that you have options; you don’t have to suffer through this alone because I’m here to help. Take a look at the resources on my website; you’ll find a lot of information about foreclosure, ways to avoid foreclosure such as a short sale and you’ll also find a number of videos that address various topics regarding foreclosures and short sales. Also on my website you’ll be able to submit questions directly to me and I’m here to help.

What is a Short Sale and is it any better than Completing a Foreclosure on My Home?

Hi, I’m Derik Lewis with Lawyers Realty Group, one of Southern California’s leading short sale teams and today we are addressing short sales. A short sale is basically the sale of your property for an amount that doesn’t pay off the outstanding mortgages or other liens. That means you will need lender approval to do a short sale. Why would a lender agree to do a short sale or cooperate with you? Their other alternative is to foreclose on the property. If they foreclose, 9 times out of 10, they are going to become the owners of that property. That means they have to evict you, maintain it, pay the property taxes and insurance all in an effort to sell that property to a new buyer. So if you are able to bring a buyer to the table and conclude a short sale that gets them as much or even a little less than what they would get after a foreclosure they are going to be willing to cooperate in that process. This way they can avoid all the hassles of a foreclosure.

The next question is why do you want to do a short sale? One big reason is you get to avoid a public foreclosure and a public eviction process. Those are very important to avoid. A short sale will obviously have a lighter footprint on your credit than a foreclosure will. Also you will be able to purchase again sooner, typically after a short sale, about two years afterward you will be able to buy again. With a foreclosure, we see some lenders will bar you from 5 to 7 years. I will say the number one reason to do a short sale is you have the ability in that process to negotiate away deficiencies and liabilities from second lien holders, the HOA fees that might be outstanding, and lines of credit. In a short sale you get to negotiate with those people and you get to use the buyer’s funds to hopefully pay them off, get them to settle with you or to otherwise go away.

If it goes to foreclosure, a number of those creditors will have the ability to sue you for the balances. A short sale provides you significant benefits over the foreclosure process. Again, I’m Derik Lewis with Lawyers Realty Group, one of Southern California’s leading short sale teams and I’m here to help answer any questions you may have. Take a look at our website, we talk about HAFA short sales and how you can get some money at the closing. We have other resources on our website at www.LawyersRealtyGroup.com, so check it out. Remember your lender has a lawyer and you should too.

Foreclosure Timeline Allows For Distressed Property Owner To Consider Options

Hello everyone Derick Lewis here with Lawyers Realty Group in Southern California thank you for your time today. I work with Southern California homeowners every day that need to sell their distressed property fast and I use my blog to share my experiences with homeowners in similar situations. If your mortgage is underwater or if you can no longer afford your payments please take a minute to browse my website or call my office to chat with an expert about your real estate options.

For my blog today I wanted to talk with Southern California homeowners about the expected time line of a foreclosure and what to expect from your lender. First off, on average a Southern California homeowner can go as long as nine months from missing a payment before actually being kicked out of their home. This leaves plenty of time to consult with an agent about the numerous options in front of you for selling your home before the sale date. If you do fall behind on your mortgage payments you can expect to see plenty of mail from your lender notifying you of the pending legal implications. These communications should not be taken lightly and are a good indication that your lender is ready to begin foreclosing on your home. With this long of a timeline, and the numerous options available to you, there is no reason why a Southern California homeowner should allow a foreclosure to exist on their home.

If you are ready to talk with an expert about selling your distressed property please fill out a contact form on my website or call me today to get started. On my website you will also find our Short Or Stay Calculator that can help you determine if a short sale is right for you. Just rememeber, your bank has a lawyer and so should you.