Attorney Indicted for Operating $11 Million Loan Modification Scam

A California attorney and a telemarketing salesman were indicted for defrauding thousands of homeowners in an $11 million loan modification fraud scheme.

According to the 50-count indictment unsealed in San Diego Federal Court, Dean Chandler and Shelveen Singh allegedly used 1st American Law Center, owned by Chandler, to persuade victims throughout the country to participate in a fraudulent loan modification scam. The indictment claims that the firm deceived homeowners that the firm used its legal resources to successfully lower residential mortgage loans on behalf of distressed borrowers, when this was not the case.

As alleged in the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators used high-pressure sales tactics and outright lies to take advantage of homeowners who were struggling to pay their monthly mortgage payments and were at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.

For example, the indictment said one of the lies portrayed by the conspirators falsely promised to have a team of attorneys prescreen client applications—claiming that these attorneys only approved 30% of those seeking to use 1ALC’s services—and boasted of having a 98% success rate in obtaining loan modifications.

Additionally, telemarketers were encouraged to pretend that they had helped “thousands” of homeowners save their homes and that the firm has been in operation for 20 years. Also, victims were told that their fees would be deposited into a client-trust account and remain untouched until they were satisfied with the results of the transaction that was supposed to take place.

Chandler appeared in television commercials and on the company’s website soliciting customers to participate in the alleged scam. Chandler, Singh and telemarketer Anthony Calandriello and call center manager Michael Eccles have all been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.

All the defendants have been released on bond except for Eccles. They are scheduled to appear in federal court to set future dates for a motion hearing and trial regarding this alleged scam.

Also, nine other participants of this supposed fraud scheme have already entered guilty pleas for their roles in the criminal enterprise and the subsequent cover-up.


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