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|Posted April 18, 2007|
|The Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
Office of the Attorney General
One Ashburton Place
Boston, Massachusetts 02108
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2007
CONTACT: Emily LaGrassa/Melissa Sherman
ATTORNEY GENERAL COAKLEY OBTAINS PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION AGAINST INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESSES INVOLVED IN FORECLOSURE RESCUE AND MORTGAGE FRAUD RING
BOSTON- Today, Attorney General Martha Coakleys Office obtained a preliminary injunction against fifteen individuals and companies allegedly involved in mortgage fraud and a foreclosure rescue scheme; preventing them from engaging in any further foreclosure rescue transactions. The order was granted by Judge Allan van Gestel in Suffolk Superior Court. Defendants have been instructed to cease acting as mortgage brokers, real estate brokers and closing attorneys with respect to foreclosure rescue transactions in Massachusetts. Defendants may also not transfer assets while the case is pending; except for necessary living expenses and expenses in the ordinary course of business. The order also prohibits the defendants from transferring, selling, mortgaging or encumbering any of the homes that have been subject to a foreclosure rescue transaction arranged by defendants.
These individuals were named in two separate lawsuits that AG Coakleys Office filed on March 30th in Suffolk Superior Court as part of a continued effort to uncover predatory conduct in mortgage brokering and lending in the Commonwealth.
The injunction was ordered against 15 defendants:
o Leo Desire, Sr., a salesperson who works on behalf of Primary Mortgage Resource, Inc.
o Primary Mortgage Resource, Inc., Mortgage Broker and where Desire Sr. worked.
o Valerie Hanserd, a closing attorney.
o Home Pride Management, a company that took fees for unrendered services.
o Leo Desire Jr., President and Treasurer of Home Pride Management.
o Dr. Joel Charles (d/b/a Sourie Corp.)
o Louis R. Joseph, Pierre N. Joseph and his wife Daphne Mompoint, Robens Joseph, Paul A. Joseph, Jean Joseph, Advie Charles, Neville Francis and Marie Betey Mereus, all property buyers.
The first of the two suits filed alleges that the defendants participated in a foreclosure rescue scheme targeted at desperate homeowners facing foreclosure. Each of the defendants allegedly conspired through their respective roles to deceive homeowners into selling their homes under the false promise avoiding foreclosure and maintaining their homes. The defendants not only obtained the title to the homeowner residences but also stripped most of the homes equity though inflated mortgages, false fees for fictitious services and false certifications by closing attorneys. In certain cases, the defendants resold the homes amongst themselves, thereby extracting any remaining equity.
Homeowners victimized by the foreclosure rescue scheme include: a Roxbury pastor who lives with his wife and two children; a Natick patent attorney; a Brighton nurse who lives with her teenage son; a Mattapan woman who lives with her two teenage children; a Methuen woman who lives with her four children; and a disabled Dorchester nurse who lives with her husband. According to the complaint, the defendants misled the consumers about the nature of the transactions, defrauded them out of their equity, absconded with the homeowners money, and forged homeowners signatures on checks payable to homeowners. As a result of the defendants foreclosure rescue scheme, homeowners were ultimately left destitute, facing foreclosure and eviction.
In a companion case also filed on March 30, the Attorney Generals Office alleges that Leo Desire Sr., Primary Mortgage Resource, Inc. and Valerie F. Hanserd, together altered a deed from the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (a.k.a. Freddie Mac). Freddie Mac intended to transfer a residential two-family house in Revere to Leo Desire for $305,000, and prepared a deed to such effect. The defendants, however, altered the deed by changing the purchase price of the property from $305,000 to $475,000, and by changing the name of the grantee from Leo Desire to a straw buyer, Gloria Avila. The defendants made these changes over the existing signature of Freddie Mac, and without Freddie Macs knowledge or approval. The defendants also provided an inflated appraised value of the real property; thereby obtaining a mortgage loan from a third party, Argent Mortgage Company, in a sum which is greater than the property value supports; they fabricated a HUD Settlement Statement to reflect the fictitious purchase price and fictitious disbursements; and the defendants allegedly shared in the proceeds of the larger mortgage loan.
Other consumers who believe they may have been victimized should contact the Attorney Generals Consumer Protection Hotline at 617-727-8400.
These cases are being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Stephanie Kahn, Pam Kogut, and Jean Healey of AG Coakleys Consumer Protection Division, with the assistance of the Civil Investigations Division, including Civil Investigators Monique Cascarano and Nancy Ward.
RELATED IMAGE AND TEXT: Photographs of Leo Desire, one of the accused career lethal Grand Thieves" / Mortgage Fraud: Leo Desire and accomplices
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