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Posted Thursday, April 12, 2007
Homeowner falls victim to Leo Desire and associates' alleged foreclosure scheme
By Channel 5 - WCVB TV BOSTON

BOSTON, Apr. 12, 2007 -- Some homeowners on the verge of financial ruin are falling victim to a new brand of mortgage predator.

foreclosure.jpg (9973 bytes)

NewsCenter 5's Lynn Jolicoeur reported that the attorney general said that the alleged scheme is led by a mortgage broker at Primary Mortgage in Brockton.

One of the alleged victims, Diane Rayford, 49, said that it was her persistence and research that brought the alleged fraud to light.

"We have fought them tooth and nail, and I am still in my home," Rayford said.

Diane Rayford said that the people behind the alleged scam snatched three of her four Dorchester homes and stole her sense of security.

"I've had a lot of hospitalization because of this stress," she said. "I've bounced back."

In 2003, Rayford, a nurse, was suffering health problems. She and her husband were facing potential foreclosure on one of their rental properties. Someone recommended that they refinance through Primary Mortgage.

"People can look legitimate, and they are not," Rayford said.

The attorney general said that the agent Leo Desire told the Rayfords and other homeowners that he'd provide buyers for their homes and that those buyers would place the homes in a trust, from which the homeowners could buy them back.

"They never established a trust. It was never established," Rayford said.

The attorney general's complaint said that he and 18 other defendants, including several attorneys, drained virtually all of the equity from the alleged victims' homes after obtaining inflated mortgages. They allegedly pocketed several hundred thousand dollars of loan proceeds after paying off three of the Rayford's homes after allegedly forging endorsements on checks made out to the Rayfords for sale proceeds. "They are greedy.

They are out for themselves. They picked on the wrong person," Rayford said.

Desire's attorney was not available for comment. The attorney general has filed two civil lawsuits in the case and has filed an injunction trying to shut down Primary Mortgage and several other businesses that are allegedly tied to the scheme.

Meanwhile, Rayford said that the fraudulent buyers have tried to evict her from the house where she and her husband live.

Copyright 2007 by TheBostonChannel.com. Published Thursday, April 12, 2007.

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