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09/27/13

SIGTARP

 

 

Pair Gets 16 Years Combined for Foreclosure Rescue Scam

 

Mark S. Farhood, formerly of San Diego, Calif., and Jason S. Sant of Lecanto, Fla., were sentenced for their roles in operating a nationwide online foreclosure rescue scam that went by various names, including Home Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today, and used various Web sites, including walkawaytoday.org and sellfastusa.com, to deceive hundreds of vulnerable, distressed homeowners into surrendering their properties to the company. Farhood was sentenced to 11 years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Sant was sentenced to six years in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Each was also ordered to forfeit approximately $2 million in fraud proceeds to the government, along with various bank accounts and other assets.

Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement today after sentencing by United States District Judge Anthony J. Trenga. Farhood and Sant each pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges on May 10, 2013.

“Farhood should spend the next 11 years in prison thinking about how he preyed on and cheated 389 distressed homeowners out of their homes by ‘buying’ their homes in fake sales for $10 per property and then renting out the homes for $4 million, which he used to fund construction on his $1 million home in Costa Rica,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP). “Farhood and his co-conspirator Sant, who was sentenced to six years in prison, hid their identities, stole identities of people whose pictures they found on the Internet, and exploited TARP’s housing program by submitting phony applications to stall foreclosures while they rented out the properties. When caught by SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners, Farhood tried to hide the proceeds of his crime, including the Costa Rica house and bags of silver coins, and tried have computer evidence of his crime deleted. SIGTARP will bring to justice all those who commit crimes exploiting the TARP bailout.”

 Read the full article here