Canadian Couple Say Mortgage Fraudster Cleaned Them Out

PHILADELPHIA (CN) – A couple who wanted to refinance their mortgage in Canada claim in a federal complaint that they lost their shirts after crossing paths with a notorious fraudster.

As laid out in the 39-page complaint filed Wednesday in Philadelphia, Sandy Hutchens is just one of the countless aliases belonging to a Toronto man “whose extensive criminal record goes back more than twenty years.”

The Philadelphia law firm Langer Grogan & Diver represents Linda and Gary Stevens, of Alberta, Canada, in the new case.

Just this past spring in Colorado meanwhile Wilentz attorneys secured a $24.2 million fraud verdict against Hutchens and his wife and daughter, Tanya and Jennifer Hutchens.

The Stevenses named these women as defendants to their complaint, too, as well as Ed Ryan who they say is both a real person involved romantically with another of Hutchens’ daughters, and the name of an alias Hutchens used to do business with the plaintiffs through the entity Westmoreland Equity Fund.

Two months before this case was filed, according to the complaint, Westmoreland and Ed Ryan allowed a $9 million final judgment to be entered against them in a state court action brought by the Stevenses.

Attorneys at Bochetto & Lentz, the law firm that the Stevenses say represented Westmoreland in that state case, have not returned a request for comment.

Westmoreland has also been represented in the past by attorneys with the law firm Lydecker, Diaz, Lee, Berga & De Zayas, according to the complaint. This firm is named as a defendant to the complaint, as are several of its partners. Richard Lydecker, who is not a party to the complaint, did not return an email seeking comment.

The Stevenses say they paid Westmoreland more than $70,000 for a loan that never materialized, but that the enterprise’s tentacles run far deeper.

“Over the years, the enterprise committed to loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and collected more than $10 million in advance fees,” the complaint states.

Seeking punitive damages, the Stevenses seek allege four counts under federal anti-racketeering law.

“Plaintiffs lost the property as well as their entire investment,” the complaint states. “Because of the scheme, Plaintiffs incurred many millions of dollars in damages.”

Howard Langer, an attorney for the Stevenses with Langer Grogan & Diver, has not returned a request for comment.

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