4 Arrested In Mortgage Fraud Scheme Targeting Polynesian Victims

admin —  February 17, 2009 — Leave a comment

The following four indviduals were arrested Wednesday, February 11, 2009, for allegedly defrauding financially troubled homeowners out of more than $1 million in property. The alleged victims were all Polynesian and were offered new mortgages to help save their homes from foreclosure. The defendants allegedly had straw buyers purchase the properties and then took out all of the equity.

Elenoa Moala, 46, Salt Lake City, Utah, charged with 18 second-degree felony counts of communications fraud, one count second-degree felony identity fraud and one second-degree felony count of racketeering.

Haloti Moala Liavaa, 42, Salt Lake City, Utah, charged with six second-degree felony counts of communications fraud, one second-degree felony of identity fraud and one second-degree felony count of racketeering.

Laura Solorio, 40, Salt Lake City, Utah, charged with two second-degree felony counts of communications Fraud, one second degree felony count of racketeering.

Kathryn Thompson, 45, South Jordan, Utah, charged with six second-degree felony counts of communications fraud, six second-degree felony counts identity fraud and one second-degree felony count of racketeering.

“This was a particularly sinister plot to rob vulnerable people out of the American dream of owning their own homes,” says Attorney General Mark Shurtleff.

Here is how the scheme allegedly worked: Polynesian homeowners were approached for help after they fell behind on their mortgage payments. The victim would sign a quit claim to give title to the property. Another Polynesian would be asked to purchase the property with the promise that all the mortgage bills would be paid. However, the monthly payments were not paid, the homeowners were evicted and the straw buyers were left with bad credit.

Charges have been filed on only three properties but investigators believe there are other victims. A judge set bail for each defendant at $100,000.

 

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