After an FBI investigation into what they believe is a fraudulent operation targeting homeowners facing foreclosure by offering low interest loan modifications, three men from Southern California are facing federal charges as suspects in the alleged hoax.
At the start of 2014 under the name Hope Services, homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure were offered deals for modifying their loans in order to assist them and stop the seizure of their properties. The potential clients were told they were preapproved for the process and they were asked to submit three payments, which would be held in an account, in order to complete the new loan agreements.
Toward the end of 2014 many complaints were received about Hope Services from people who had submitted payments and did not receive their modified loans as promised. The alleged scam operation then changed their name to HAMP Services, which has the same acronym as an existing government program for home loan modification, and they continued to solicit services to new victims until April 2015.
The FBI began an investigation and they were led to the Laguna Hills based HAMP Services, and three men running the operation. Michael Paul Paquette from San Juan Capistrano, Allan Jessie Chance of Temecula, and Costa Mesa resident Dennis Edward Lake are believed to have taken over $2.5 million from more than 500 people across the United States.
Paquette, Chance and Lake were taken into custody and face charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The men entered pleas of not guilty at their arraignments, and they were each released on $15,000 bonds. Their trial is scheduled to begin on March 6.
If you or someone you love is suspected of fraud, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.