An Indiana man has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for his role in a $1.47 million foreclosure rescue scam.
Phillip Yoder, 41, was sentenced to 87 months in prison for bank fraud, mail fraud and bankruptcy fraud. He was also sentenced to serve two years of supervised release and pay more than $581,000 in restitution.
According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana, between 2014 and 2015, Yoder and others – sometimes working through the company KOH Enterprises – scammed distressed homeowners. The scammers would monitor foreclosure notices, then approach the homeowners and convince them to transfer title of the property, falsely promising to handle the homeowners’ mortgage arrears and the foreclosure process.
The homeowners would vacate the property and transfer their interest through a quitclaim deed to the scammers. However, the quitclaim deed did not remove the homeowners’ outstanding mortgage debt. Yoder and his co-conspirators would then mail the homeowners a phony document purporting to satisfy the outstanding debt. Simultaneously, they would file a fraudulent “satisfaction of mortgage” with the country recorder’s office and convey another quitclaim to an investor or purchaser of the property. The total loss to investors and insurers was nearly $1.47 million.
“Creating a scheme that enriches the defendant while defrauding banks, insurers and average homeowners jeopardizes our financial system,” said US Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “My office, in coordination with our law enforcement partners, will continue to aggressively prosecute these type of cases.”