SAN BERNARDINO (CN) – A “foreclosure assistance” scam took more than $700,000 from elderly and Spanish-speaking Californians while letting their homes fall into foreclosure, Attorney General Jerry Brown said. Brown’s office said flyers advertising the First Gov foreclosure scam are still circulating.
An unknown number of homeowners were victimized by the scam, which Brown says was run by Rosa Conrado, Saul Amador and Jesus Flores. They were arrested Monday. Their company, First Gov, also is known as Foreclosure Prevention Services.
According to the attorney general’s office:
The defendants told homeowners they could renegotiate mortgages, reduce monthly payments, and transfer delinquent amounts to the new principal.
They demanded up-front fees of up to $5,000 and told homeowners not to communicate with their lenders and to stop making payments.
If lenders contacted the victims of the scam, the defendants told them to make a “good faith” payment to the “Reinstatement Department” or “Resolution Department” “to secure the new accounts.”
“More than $700,000 was stolen from homeowners who fell victim to this scheme,” the attorney general said in a news release.
Rosa Conrado lives in San Bernardino, Saul Amador in West Covina, and Jesus Flores in Baldwin Park. Arrest warrants have been issued for Juan Perez of Grand Terrace and David Giron of Ontario, the attorney general said.
The 39-count indictment includes charges of grand theft, money laundering and conspiracy.