Charles Head, of Pittsburgh, Pa., Benjamin Budoff, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Domonic McCarns, of Irvine, Calif., were all convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with the scam, according to a report by the Central Valley (Calif.) Business Times. Head was also convicted of three counts of mail fraud.
Prosecutors say that the three men operated a scam that targeted homeowners facing foreclosure. The men, working through a number of companies, promised homeowners to help avoid foreclosure and repair their credit. Instead, they swindled homeowners into completing transactions substituting straw buyers’ names on the victims’ property titles without the victims’ knowledge, the Journal reported.
According to prosecutors, Head, Budoff and McCarns made more than $5.7 million from the scam, while their victims lost at least $15 million.
“Charles Head, Domonic McCarns and Benjamin Budoff preyed on the victims’ fear of losing their homes, and then took advantage of those victims’ predicament to steal from them their last remaining equity in those homes,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said. “As a result of their conduct, many of the victims who looked to the Head brothers for help were evicted and left destitute. Few white collar crimes are as cruel or as devastating to victims.”
Two other defendants, Keith Brotemarkle of Johnstown, Pa., and Lisa Vang of Westminster, Calif., have already pleaded guilty in the case.
Three people have been convicted in a nationwide foreclosure rescue scam.