Anthony Carta, 55, has been charged with seven felony counts in connection with the scam, according to the Michigan Attorney General’s Office.
According to Attorney General Bill Schuette, Carta used his company, Freedom By Faith Ministries, to rope people into a phony mortgage assistance program. Instead of providing mortgage relief, Carta pocketed the fees, Schuette alleged.
Carta was finally brought down by his own employee. In 2011, he hired Kelita Leflore to sell mortgage service in the Detroit area. Once Leflore made a sale, she turned the client file and proceeds over to Carta, the AG’s office said. After selling at least 100 mortgage modifications for Freedom By Faith, Leflore discovered that Carta was not actually negotiating for his clients. Carta also allegedly promised to help Leflore with her own mortgage, but Leflore ended up losing her own home because Carta never contacted the bank.
When she realized Carta was running a scam, Leflore contacted Freedom By Faith clients personally and urged them to file complaints, according to the AG’s office. Leflore filed her own complaint with the office in December of 2012.
“Using the guise of faith to trick innocent people into entrusting their money to a sham organization is deplorable,” Schuette said. “My team is committed to partnering with law enforcement to bring down these scam artists wherever they operate.”
A Detroit man has been accused of using religion to steal more than $300,000 in a wide-ranging mortgage scam.