Michael Trap, San Diego, California, was sentenced on June 15, 2011, to the Bureau of Prisons for a term of 30 months as to each count, to run concurrent, 3 years of supervised release as to each count, to run concurrent, a special assessment of $100 imposed as to each count for a total of $200.00, and restitution in the amount of $460,249.
As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Trap orchestrated a loan modification scheme with Glenn Steven Rosofsky, San Deigo, California. Both defendants pleaded guilty admitted that in approximately April 2009, they began operating a loan modification business using the names “Nations Housing Modification Center” and “Federal Housing Modification Department” (NHMC), in an effort to fraudulently sell loan modification services to homeowners who were delinquent on their monthly mortgage payments.
The defendants and others used false and fraudulent statements and representations to induce customers to purchase loan modification services from NHMC. Among the misrepresentations made to customers were claims that NHMC had “attorneys” and “forensic accountants” on staff to deal with the loss mitigation departments of banks on behalf of NHMC‘s customers, that NHMC had achieved an “extremely high success rate for homeowners that met the Nations Home Affordable Modification Program guidelines,” and that NHMC was located on “Capitol Hill” in Washington, D.C.
In fact, NHMC did not have attorneys or forensic accountants on staff, it did not have a high success rate of modifying loans, it had no connection with the U.S. Treasury Department’s “Making Home Affordable” program, and its only presence in Washington, D.C., was a rented post office box. These false claims were made in solicitation letters that were mailed throughout the country to individuals behind on their mortgage payments and encouraged struggling homeowners to call a toll-free number to purchase NHMC‘s loan modification services. The staff of telemarketers at NHMC‘s offices in San Marcos, California used a script provided by Rosofsky and others to make similar false and misleading statements to potential customers.
Relying on such misrepresentations, over 300 homeowners paid between $2,500 and $3,000 to NHMC between April and July 2009, resulting in over $900,000 in customer funds to be transferred to NHMC‘s bank accounts in the Southern District of California. Rosofsky admitted that he and Trap then conducted financial transactions with the customer funds transferred to NHMC‘s bank accounts in order to pay expenses of the business and to compensate themselves.