LOS ANGELES (CN) - Four Orange County men used a string of phony businesses to defraud distressed homeowners of millions of dollars, claiming they could save their homes under "the Obama Act," federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Already in state custody was Samuel Paul Bain aka Paul Bain, 35, of Tustin, an owner and principal of the businesses.
Arrested Tuesday were Aminullah Sarpas aka Amin Sarpas aka David Sarpas, 32, of Irvine; Damon Grant Carriger, 36, of Corona, the principal sales manager; and Louis Saggiani, 64, of Huntington Beach, the manager and chief accountant for the businesses.
The men ran a series of phony offices, in Irvine, Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Garden Grove and Westminster, closing them down and reopening under other names as soon as they attracted attention from customer complaints and state investigators, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.
The names of their businesses included U.S. Homeowners Relief, Waypoint Law Group and American Lending Review.
The defendants and their telemarketers told their suckers that for refundable, upfront payments of $1,450 to $4,200 they could get their principal reduced, lower interest rates and other relief. They claimed it was part of "the Obama Act," according to the U.S. attorney.
Prosecutors said there were hundreds of victims, none of whom, of course, got refunds.
All four are charged with conspiracy, 21 counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud. Bain, Sarpas and Saggiani are charged with five additional counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud, and Bain is charged with two counts of money laundering.