(303)-974-5610

Financial Forensic Report 3.2.2021

7 INDICTED IN
MODIFICATION FRAUD CASE

In a 14-count indictment based on conspiracy and fraud offenses, seven individuals were charged for a scheme designed to defraud homeowners across the United States who were trying to get mortgage loan modifications. Law enforcement seized more than $1 million in assets, including $350,000 from various bank accounts, approximately $362,000 from a Bitcoin account, a $100,000 cashier’s check, and a 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia.

The defendants jointly operated a series of companies based in California that pretended to provide home mortgage loan modification services to homeowners in exchange for upfront fees. Over the time frame of their fraudulent activities, the defendants cold-called homeowners and said they’d already been approved for loan modifications with favorable terms.

In addition to misleading homeowners about pre-approval, the defendants told homeowners that they would receive financial assistance under government mortgage relief programs — and if the mortgage loan fell through, homeowners would be entitled to a full refund of their fees. The upfront fees they charged were usually between $2,500 and $4,300.

Unfortunately, most homeowners hadn’t been pre-approved, didn’t have a legitimate mortgage loan modification through a reputable lender, and never received a refund when they requested one. To make matters even
worse, the defendants used numerous pseudonyms and changed both their business and operating names to make it virtually impossible for their victims to find them.

Here are just a few of the many business names they adopted to perpetuate their fraud:

  • First Choice Financial Group, Inc.
  • First Choice Debt
  • Legal Modification Firm
  • Home Care Alliance Group
  • Best Rate Financial Solutions
  • Green Tree Financial

If convicted, these defendants face a maximum term of 20 years for each count, which includes charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. They will also face an additional 10 years for participating in a crime involving telemarketing fraud that victimized 10 people who were over 55 years old. Depending on the defendant, they could be looking at 50 years for their crimes.

These individuals were opportunists, plain and simple. They took full advantage of the national mortgage crisis by targeting vulnerable homeowners who were facing economic hardship. If you’re thinking these criminals didn’t know that what they were doing was wrong, think again. The defendants ignored cease and desist orders directed at them for years, including one on December 17, 2013, from the State of Connecticut Department of Banking.

The good news is that the defendants involved in this scam failed to evade the watchful eye of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and a number of other agencies and organizations. In spite of their attempts to evade law enforcement by changing their names and the name of their fraudulent enterprise, the defendants are now being prosecuted by the U.S. District of Connecticut Federal Court.

_____________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


We wanted to commemorate the occasion by profiling an amazing woman from history named Stephanie Kwolek. You may not have heard of her before, but you’ve probably heard of the invention she helped make possible: Kevlar.

After Kwolek graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, she was hired on at chemical company DuPont for a temporary position. However, she liked the work so much, she decided to stay — and she remained there for 40 years!

Her first position was formulating new synthetic fibers. She started in 1960, working with long molecule chains at low temperatures. In 1965, she made a huge discovery while working with a liquid crystal solution of large molecules called polymers. Her work resulted in a fiber that was unusually lightweight but extremely durable.

Eventually, this material was later developed by DuPont into Kevlar, a versatile synthetic material that has since found its way into military helmets, work gloves, bulletproof vests, sports equipment, fiber-optic cables, and building materials. For her contributions and her research on synthetic fibers, Kwolek was awarded the National Medal of Technology, and she was also inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1994.

Over her career, Kwolek’s research efforts earned her 17 U.S. patents, and she also received other prestigious awards like the Kilby International Award and the 1999 Lemelson–MIT Lifetime Achievement Award. She was a prolific inventor, scientist, and researcher.

So what makes this material so special and Kwolek so deserving of her recognition? Kevlar is five times as strong as steel, resistant to everything from corrosion to flames, and flexible enough to wear on the human body. Thousands of law enforcement officers and soldiers rely on Kevlar every day.

It’s also significant to note that Kwolek graduated from college and started working at a time when most women didn’t get a degree or participate in the workforce. She served as an inspiration to women, especially women intimidated by science and technology. In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re proud to remember the inimitable Stephanie Kwolek!

______________________________________________________________________________

REAL COURT CASE NAMES

Terrible v. Terrible 

Nebraska v. One 1970 2-Door Sedan Rambler (Gremlin)

United States v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins

United States v. Article Consisting of 50,000 Cardboard Boxes More or Less, Each Containing One Pair of Clacker Balls

Juicy Whip v. Orange Bang

______________________________________________________________________________


______________________________________________________________________________

Diagnostic & Prescriptive Judgment Enforcement
By: Joe H. Dickerson, CFE

$24.95 + FREE S&H

Please place your book orders by calling
303.974.5610
during normal business hours Mon-Fri 9am-5pm MT.
or email joe@financialforensicservices.comand make an appointment
for a FREE initial review of your judgment. Thank you!

Copyright all rights reserved. Financial Forensic Services, LLC 2020 Brief quotation with attribution permitted. 

As Seen In

Financial Forensic Services, LLC is proud to staff Certified Fraud Examiners

Testimonial

“They went overboard in providing excellent service. I was very pleased with what they provided for me as their end product. Financial Forensic Services really understands how a case needs to be put together in order to be presented to a jury. Their PowerPoint presentation tied everything together. It was thorough, it was concise, and it got the job done.”

Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

2014-11-11T18:21:32+00:00

Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

“They went overboard in providing excellent service. I was very pleased with what they provided for me as their end product. Financial Forensic Services really understands how a case needs to be put together in order to be presented to a jury. Their PowerPoint presentation tied everything together. It was thorough, it was concise, and it got the job done.”

“Financial Forensic Services did an excellent job in the way they executed my case. They were very straightforward. They stated what they could do for us and they did it. And, from a personal standpoint, they are excellent. Both my wife and I felt very comfortable working with them.”

Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

2014-11-11T18:21:13+00:00

Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

“Financial Forensic Services did an excellent job in the way they executed my case. They were very straightforward. They stated what they could do for us and they did it. And, from a personal standpoint, they are excellent. Both my wife and I felt very comfortable working with them.”

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:41+00:00

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

” I was prepared to dismiss a federal case involving millions of dollars against a local individual who claimed to have no substantial assets. After your staff hit the records and delved into the transactions behind the transactions, you discovered the individual to actually be worth a few million dollars. We continued the case to conclusion. We were also very happy with the financial background examinations you conducted of the former directors of two failed national banks. The heart of any civil case is whether there is a pot at the end of the lawsuit. You were our lucky leprechaun in finding such pots.”

R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

2014-11-11T18:13:08+00:00

R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

” I was prepared to dismiss a federal case involving millions of dollars against a local individual who claimed to have no substantial assets. After your staff hit the records and delved into the transactions behind the transactions, you discovered the individual to actually be worth a few million dollars. We continued the case to conclusion. We were also very happy with the financial background examinations you conducted of the former directors of two failed national banks. The heart of any civil case is whether there is a pot at the end of the lawsuit. You were our lucky leprechaun in finding such pots.”

“Joe is the most competent investigator I’ve ever found. He has rare ability to find hidden assets. Others claim it, Joe has it. He understands the Rules of Evidence, he knows how to talk to people to develop a fact pattern, and he has a sixth sense for fraud. Joe has unquestioned integrity and delivers value for his services.”

Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

2014-11-11T18:12:51+00:00

Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

“Joe is the most competent investigator I’ve ever found. He has rare ability to find hidden assets. Others claim it, Joe has it. He understands the Rules of Evidence, he knows how to talk to people to develop a fact pattern, and he has a sixth sense for fraud. Joe has unquestioned integrity and delivers value for his services.”

“Joe spends the time to understand the problem from the client’s perspective and from the legal perspective. He is intelligent, tenacious, willing to work as hard as it takes, thorough, well-informed, and just awfully good at what he does.”

Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:05+00:00

Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

“Joe spends the time to understand the problem from the client’s perspective and from the legal perspective. He is intelligent, tenacious, willing to work as hard as it takes, thorough, well-informed, and just awfully good at what he does.”

“When I was general counsel for First Interstate Bank, I used Joe Dickerson for locating assets, investigating behavior and asset discovery. He did excellent work and always got the information I needed without compromising the bank in any way. He’s more thorough and kept in better touch with me than other investigators. I’d give him a grade of 96 or 97 out of 100.”

Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:20+00:00

Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

“When I was general counsel for First Interstate Bank, I used Joe Dickerson for locating assets, investigating behavior and asset discovery. He did excellent work and always got the information I needed without compromising the bank in any way. He’s more thorough and kept in better touch with me than other investigators. I’d give him a grade of 96 or 97 out of 100.”

“Joe Dickerson is the industry standard. You can measure the rest by what he does, and I say that without equivocation. Joe has incredible insight into the dark world of fraud. He understands the devious ways in which people perpetrate white-collar crime.”

Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:55+00:00

Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

“Joe Dickerson is the industry standard. You can measure the rest by what he does, and I say that without equivocation. Joe has incredible insight into the dark world of fraud. He understands the devious ways in which people perpetrate white-collar crime.”