VISTA, Calif. (CN) – Baltimore Ravens cornerback Anwar Phillips ran a foreclosure rescue scam with his mom, a couple claims in San Diego County Court. Phillips, who “is believed to be a professional football player who lives somewhere in the southeast portion of the United States,” allegedly was “the straw purchaser to whom title was allegedly transferred in this foreclosure scam,” according to the complaint.
Phillips’ mom, defendant Sharon Phillips, lives in Riverside County, according to the complaint.
“Foreclosure rescue scams have recently descended upon northern San Diego County,” the complaint states. “While the scams have as many variations as can be imagined, the basic fraud involves the promise of saving the homeowners from foreclosure while transferring title temporary [sic] to the straw purchasers and then renting the home back to the former owners. The former owners live in the house until their credit is repaired and then purchase the house back for some unspecified amount at some unspecified time in the future. Of course, all of the scammers receive large fees and the equity is drained from the homeowner’s property almost immediately. This sort of theft has resulted in homeowners losing millions of dollars in equity through these predatory fees and equity stripping scams.
“Typically, the scammers drain off the equity through a new loan and then almost immediately quit paying on the new mortgage, thus subjecting the homeowner to yet another foreclosure proceeding. This is the story of the Tayloe home in Oceanside and the equity strippers from back east brought to them by a local business associate.”
Defendant Dwayne Burgess, of Pennsylvania, is described as “the purported ringleader of this rescue scam.”
Here are the defendants: Anwar Phillips, Sharon Phillips, Dwayne Burgess, John Holmes, Hand Holmes Pilie & Matthews LLC, PNC Settlements LLC, Linda Shepard, Mortgage Settlement Solutions, Cal-Western Reconveyance Corp., and Bank of America.
Defendant John Holmes is described as a Louisiana attorney with Hand Holmes Pilie & Matthews of Metairie. Defendant Linda Shepard is described as the person “who originally organized the contact between the plaintiffs and the foreclosure scammers and was involved in some degree in the overall scam.”
Plaintiffs say they were told the NFL player was willing to help them out because he needed tax write-offs. Plaintiffs are represented by J. Michael Vallee of Solana Beach.