SoCal Mortgage Crook|Gets Nearly Five Years

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – A Chula Vista man was sentenced Monday to 57 months in prison for cheating 120 people of $670,000 in a mortgage modification scam.
     Christian Hidalgo, 37, was caught after Postal Service inspectors found 750 undeliverable solicitation letters for his scam, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     Many of his victims lost their homes.
     He defrauded his victims by telling them he could fend off foreclosure and reduce their mortgage payments. His come-ons claimed he was affiliated with the federal government through his businesses called, among other things, Expo Enterprises, United Housing, Community Housing Agency, National Resource Services, Retro Management, My Community Outreach, and Nuestra Communidad Services, the last of which is misspelled.
     He targeted poor Latinos.
     “Although Hidalgo and his employees promised the victims that their payments would be held untouched in an impound account, and ultimately sent to the victims’ lenders at the end of negotiations, none of the money was forwarded,” prosecutors said in the statement. “This often resulted in the foreclosure of the victims’ homes as a result of the lenders’ failure to receive mortgage payments. For his part, Hidalgo spent the victim funds in a variety of ways, including purchasing a BMW, diamond rings, a large-screen television, and firearms. All of these items, were seized by the United States and forfeited as part of Hidalgo’s sentence. The items will be sold at auction, with proceeds going to the victims.”
     Hidalgo was sentenced for mail fraud, aiding and abetting, and money laundering.

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