Mortgage modification fraudster gets 9 years

by Ryan Smith01 Apr 2014
A New York man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for participating in a half-million-dollar loan modification scam.

Isaak Khafizov, 27, was convicted of two counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. According to prosecutors, Khafizov is the former owner of American Home Recovery, a New York loan modification business. Khafizov used the business to prey on distressed homeowners, promising them that the company could get them better interest rates, that they had been “pre-approved” for mortgage modification by their lenders and that AHR was affiliated with government programs established in response to the financial crisis.

Khafizov charged homeowners upfront fees running into the thousands of dollars and did little or nothing to renegotiate their mortgages, prosecutors claimed. He also specifically directed homeowners to stop paying their mortgages and pay AHR fees instead, resulting in many victims being foreclosed upon.

“Khafizov thought he had found his meal ticket scamming struggling homeowners during the height of the housing crisis, and he now has the next nine years in federal prison to think about how he destroyed so many peoples’ lives,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). “At trial, victims described receiving late-night phone calls from Khafizov, who claimed that mortgage lenders were demanding that fees be paid to him right away to ensure the immediate approval of the homeowners’ applications to lower their mortgage payments under TARP’s housing programs. Khafizov’s lies swindled homeowners out of their hard-earned savings, savings Khafizov used to purchase luxury cars and to pay personal expenses.”

“Isaak Khafizov victimized desperate homeowners who were struggling to make their mortgage payments,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. “He preyed on their fears of losing their homes by lying about miracle cures for their financial problems. Khafizov pretended it was all made possible by government programs that did not exist, by special, powerful relationships with banks that he did not have, and by expertise and experience that he never possessed.”

In addition to his prison term, Khafizov must serve three years of supervised release.
 

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