A Federal Jury has taken down a man who is said to have carried out the largest mortgage modification scheme ever charged. According to the court, Dionysius Fiumano cheated mortgagers out of approximately $31 million. The ringleader pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in September of this year.
The Start of It All
Fiumano’s scheme began around November 2011 and carried on for approximately two and a half years. During this time, he told more than 30,000 victims that they were able to receive a HAMP mortgage modification, when in fact that was not the case. Fiumano reached out to the individuals as the general manager of sales at Vortex Financial Management, a mortgage modification company in Irvine, California. The company, also known as Professional Marketing Group and Professional Legal Network (alternative names created to keep the scheme going), bought leads for thousands of homeowners who had become late on mortgage payments. Then, PMG sent out a slew of fraudulent solicitation emails that wrongly informed the mortgagers that their loans were already under modification review.
An Ongoing Scheme
Unfortunately for the victims, that first email was not the last. The U.S. Attorney’s Office reported that PMG also misinformed borrowers that their lenders had given the okay for new lower interest rates and that for additional fees, a law firm would be provided to compete the process. But that’s not all — the company also pretended to hire underwriters to provide homeowners with modified rates and more affordable monthly payments, as long as the victim paid up-front fees. These fees were said to be intended for outside parties, like the lender and attorney, but that of course was also a lie. In the end, mortgagers were defrauded out of more than $30 million by the scheme.
Fiumano was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud for which he could be sentenced to 40 years in prison, but he did not act alone. Pedram Abghari, Mahyar Mohases, and Justin Romano are just three of the co-conspirators who have been identified by authorities. Abghari pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and one count of misprision of a felony, counts which could land him up to 43 years in prison if served consecutively. Both Romano and Mohases pled guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The sad fact of the matter is that PMG didn’t follow through on any of its promises to struggling homeowners. While this example is certainly grand scale, the rights of homeowners are infringed upon every day when it comes to modifications and foreclosures. If you’re in need of a loan modification, it’s best to seek out a Miami foreclosure attorney who processes modifications to handle the entire process for you. Call the team at Graham Legal today for more information.