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07/03/12

LOAN MODIFICATION SCAM- MAN SENTENCED FOR DEFRAUDING HUNDREDS OF VICTIMS

Hundreds of fake letters with CitiFinancial or CitiMortgage logos sent as part of scam.

A man was sentenced today to a year in jail and five years of formal probation today for defrauding hundreds of victims in a real estate scam by offering home loan modificationassistance to struggling homeowners across the country. Andrew Michael Phalen, 25, Mission Viejo, pleaded guilty May 16, 2012, to one felony count of conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees and one felony count of conspiracy to commit grand theft. As part of the sentence, Phalen will also be prohibited from engaging in similar activities during the probation period.

In March 2012, the five defendants were arrested, The four co-defendants are scheduled for a pre-trial hearing June 11, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Co-Defendants
Jacob John Cunningham, 25, Irvine, is charged with 14 felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses and one felony count each of conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees, conspiracy to commit forgery, and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 17 years and four months in state prison.

Justin Dennis Koelle, 22, Costa Mesa, is charged with seven felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses and one felony count each of conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and eight months in state prison.

Dominic Adam Nolan, 31, Irvine, is charged with 14 felony counts of grand theft by false pretenses, and one felony count each of conspiracy to commit forgery, conspiracy to charge illegal upfront fees, and money laundering. If convicted on all counts, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years and four months in state prison.

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