The Voice • August 2017
Within four days, California Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill served jail sentences to three individuals that operated Star Reliable Mortgage, a fraudulent “loan elimination” business. The “business” had offices in numerous cities, all of which sought out financially strapped homeowners. The Star Reliable Mortgage service would supposedly payoff loans on properties nearing foreclosure. Clients would pay upfront fees that ranged from $2,500 to $4,500 directly to Star Reliable. Homeowners that came on as clients were instructed to discontinue mortgage payments and entrust Star Reliable to pay off their mortgage from a reserve account that supposedly held one million dollars.
The business operators had also filed fraudulent documents to be recorded by local county offices “to replace the legitimate property trustees with fictitious trustees”.  These documents were filed in an effort to both cloud the title and to possibly stop the foreclosure process of the homes.
Two of the main offenders plead guilty and the third was convicted of one count of conspiracy and eight counts of mail fraud affecting a financial institution. Collectively, the three individuals were sentenced to fifteen years in prison. The fraudsters were also ordered to pay more than $1.1 million in restitution to the affected homeowners, as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, who experienced financial losses as a result of several foreclosed homes.