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June 8, 2012

MAN SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING HUNDREDS OF VICTIMS IN REAL ESTATE LOAN MODIFICATION SCAM

Filed under: California Defense Attorney — Tags: , , — fayarfa @ 5:26 am

*Hundreds of fake letters with CitiFinancial or CitiMortgage logos sent as part of scam

SANTA ANA - A man was sentenced today to a year in jail and five years of formal probation today for defrauding hundreds of victims in a real estate scam by offering home loan modification assistance to struggling homeowners across the country. Andrew Michael Phalen, 25, Mission Viejo, pleaded guilty May 16, 2012, to one felony count of conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees and one felony count of conspiracy to commit grand theft. As part of the sentence, Phalen will also be prohibited from engaging in similar activities during the probation period.

Co-Defendants
Jacob John Cunningham, 25, Irvine, is charged with 14 felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses and one felony count each of conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees, conspiracy to commit forgery, and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 17 years and four months in state prison.

Justin Dennis Koelle, 22, Costa Mesa, is charged with seven felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses and one felony count each of conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months in state prison.

Dominic Adam Nolan, 31, Irvine, is charged with 14 felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses, and one felony count each of conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees, and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years and four months in state prison.

John D. Silva, 27, Irvine, is charged with 23 felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses, two felony counts of theft from an elder, and one felony count each of conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees, and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 17 years and four months in state prison.

The four co-defendants are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing June 11, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Phalen was convicted of and his co-defendants are accused of the following:
Between January 2009 and March 2012, Cunningham, Koelle, Phalen, Nolan, and Silva are accused of creating numerous fraudulent loan modification businesses including CSFA Home Solutions, Mortgage Solution Specialists, Inc., CS & Associates, National Mortgage Relief Center, National Mortgage Relief Center, NMRC, NMRC Inc., N.M.R.C. Inc., Allied Home Servicing, and Allied Loan Servicing for home loan modification assistance. Cunningham, Koelle, Phalen, Nolan, and Silva are accused of sending a promotional letter to people throughout the United States with an offer to restructure their home loans, in which the defendants referred to the homeowner’s specific lender and principal balance, and charging the homeowner upfront fees for loan modification services.

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