Anthony Carta, 53, Detroit, Michigan, has been charged with multiple crimes in connection to his formation of a faith based mortgage assistance scam.
Carta faces criminal charges for the alleged theft of more than $300,000 from more than 100 victims who believed Carta was going to assist them with their mortgage through his company, Freedom By Faith Ministries (FBF). Instead, Carta allegedly pocketed the money and did nothing to assist the victims with their mortgages. FBF never held regular faith-based gatherings but only hosted a website that advertised Carta’s books and mortgage assistance program.
In September 2011, Carta hired Kelita Leflore to gain additional business in the Detroit area. Once Leflore sold a mortgage service, the proceeds and client file were turned over to Carta to negotiate. Leflore sold at least 100 mortgage modifications for FBF. Leflore discovered that Carta was not actually negotiating for clients because she contacted one of the victim’s banks and learned that Carta never contacted the bank.
In addition, Carta allegedly promised Leflore he would assist with her own mortgage problems and she ended up losing her home because Carta never contacted her bank. At that point, Leflore contacted clients personally, advised them of the crime and encouraged victims to file complaints with the BBB and/or the Michigan Attorney General. Leflore filed a complaint with the Attorney General on December 8, 2012.
The following seven charges have been filed against Carta in Southfield, Michigan’s 46th District Court:
• One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a 20 year felony;
• One count of false pretenses $20,000 – $50,000, a fifteen year felony; and,
• Five counts of false pretenses $1,000 – $20,000, five year felonies all.
Carta was arrested on April 2, 2014 and is expected to be arraigned in 46th District Court, located in Southfield, Michigan.
Attorney General Bill Schuette announced the charges by his Attorney General Corporate Oversight Division.
“Using the guise of faith to trick innocent people into entrusting their money to a sham organization is deplorable,” said Schuette, “My team is committed to partnering with law enforcement to bring down these scam artists wherever they operate.”