16 years for ringleader of $31 million mortgage scam

by Ryan Smith22 Sep 2016
A California man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for orchestrating a $31 million mortgage assistance scam.

Dionysius Fiumano, of California, was also ordered to pay nearly $12 million in restitution. Fiumano was convicted in May of conspiracy and wire fraud.

Prosecutors said that as general manager of a company called Professional Legal Network, Fiumano was the ringleader of a scam operation that netted $31 million from 30,000 homeowners for mortgage assistance that was never provided.

Fiumano allegedly instructed employees to tell homeowners that fees paid to the company would go toward retaining an attorney who would obtain a mortgage modification. In fact, prosecutors said, that assistance never materialized.

“Fiumano’s company preyed on and victimized the desperate homeowners, taking their money and doing nothing to actually help,” US Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Prosecutors had actually asked for a much longer sentence, saying up to 40 years would be “reasonable and appropriate” for Fiumano’s crimes. But Fiumano’s defense team argued that such a lengthy sentence was ridiculous.

“No murders occurred, no violent crime or drug offenses happened. Even the sentence recommended by probation, 15 years, is extremely harsh, given the facts of the case,” the defense’s sentencing submission memo said.

Four of Fiumano’s partners have pled guilty to involvement in the scam. They’re scheduled for sentencing in November.


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?