Michael S. Robinson, 42, a Utah resident, has paid restitution after pleading guilty to two second-degree felony counts of communications fraud and one second-degree felony count of pattern of unlawful activity in operating a foreclosure rescue scheme.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office distributed restitution checks totaling over $405,000 to 17 victims of the fraudulent real estate scheme.
According to court records, Robinson through his company Paramount Holdings convinced homeowners facing foreclosure that he would help them from losing their homes. Robinson would promise financial assistance, credit counseling and the opportunity to regain their home. However, Robinson would quickly transfer the deeds to his control and then evict the owners from their homes.
Jeff Atkinson was approached by Robinson in 2006 when his home was in danger of foreclosure. He started paying $1,200 a month to Robinson and gave him the deed to his house. “He came in like a white knight and said ‘I can save your home,’” said Atkinson.
Atkinson was shocked when the Attorney General’s Office gave full restitution checks to him and the other victims. “It’s hard to find words to explain the emotion of getting our money back,” said Atkinson. “The Attorney General’s Office helped restore my faith that there are still good people out there.”
Third District Court Judge Denise Lindberg agreed to suspend Robinson’s prison sentence after he paid the restitution. Many of the victims were present and visibly moved when the checks were distributed on September 19. The investigation was handled by A.G. Special Investigator Nathan Mutter and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Denise Dalton.
“Although money cannot replace homes lost, the Attorney General’s Office is committed to prosecuting white-collar fraud and collecting restitution for victims,” said Chief Deputy Attorney General Kirk Torgensen.