One of the conspirators in a fraudulent foreclosure-rescue scheme that swindled nearly a quarter of a million dollars from at least 70 homeowners has been sentenced to six years in prison, the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas announced.
Mark Stein, owner of Real Estate Solutions, was also ordered to pay $215,138 in restitution to homeowner victims after pleading guilty to one count of mail fraud in April.
From February 2012 to January 2013, Stein conspired with three others to contact vulnerable homeowners in northern Texas using third parties. They offered the homeowners an opportunity to get out of their present home loans and receive new, cheaper loans with lower interest and reduced monthly payments.
The conspirators told homeowners that investors were ready to purchase their loans from the original lenders through short sales. Although they knew they would not legally own the property, the conspirators assured homeowners that a foreclosure rescue company could sell the property back to the homeowner under a new loan.
However, there were actually no investors. Stein and the others simple pocketed the funds they collected from the homeowners. These funds included hefty down payments as well as loan payments which they told homeowners to make directly to them. The scheme also involved instructing homeowners to ignore notices of late- and non-payment from other lenders as well as to file bankruptcy in order to forestall foreclosure.
With Stein’s sentence, all of the conspirators in the scheme have been sentenced. His co-defendants Christina Caveny, Richard Stevens, and Bruce Hawkins previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced for felony offenses stemming from the scheme. Caveny was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and Hawkins and Stevens were each sentenced to 41 months.