3 indicted over alleged $2.5M loan-modification scheme

by Francis Monfort18 Jan 2018
Three Southern California men have been indicted over their alleged involvement in a fraudulent loan-modification scheme that victimized more than 500 homeowners and paid at least $2.5 million to the defendants.

Michael Paquette, Allan Chance, and Dennis Lake were arrested following an indictment returned by a federal grand jury. They have pleaded guilty and have been ordered to stand trial on March 6.

The indictment alleges that Paquette and Chance pretended to work for an entity called HAMP Services and told distressed homeowners that they were approved for a government-affiliated loan modification. The two then told homeowners that a loan modification required three “trial payments.”

Following these trial payments, the victims’ files were forwarded to Lake. Victims continued to hope for the promised loan modifications when Lake and his employees at JD United told them they were working on the modifications.

An investigation found that $800 of the trial payments went to JD United, with Paquette and Chance receiving commissions that were directly taken from the account where the payments were deposited. According to the indictment, none of the payments went to lenders of any government agency for modification.

Paquette, Chance, and Lake are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Additionally, Paquette is charged with three substantive mail fraud counts, Chance with four mail fraud counts, and Lake with six mail fraud counts. In case of a conviction, each defendant would face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each count.

Two other defendants involved in the scheme have pleaded guilty to federal charges and are awaiting sentencing.

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