Jesus Baca and Ramon Dy-Ragos, co-managers of “Save Your House” and Luis Baca, an employee of the company, were prosecuted by the Office of the Attorney General for conspiring to knowingly and falsely promote the business as a foreclosure defense firm. The defendants made false representations that they were capable of saving customers’ homes from foreclosure and collected payments for work that was never performed.
The following three defendants pled and were sentenced as follows:
Jesus Baca, 33, Las Vegas, Nevada:
On July 11, 2012, Clark County District Court Judge David Barker sentenced Baca to a suspended sentence of 12 months in the Clark County Detention Center and two years of probation. He was ordered to pay $43,772 in restitution and to pay investigative costs and prosecutorial fees to the AG’s office. Baca had pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit a crime, a gross misdemeanor.
Ramon Dy-Ragos, 42, Las Vegas:
On July 11, 2012, Clark County District Court Judge David Barker sentenced Dy-Ragos, a Nevada licensed attorney, to a suspended sentence of 12 months in the Clark County Detention Center and two years of probation. He was ordered to pay $43,772 in restitution and to pay investigative costs and prosecutorial fees to the AG’s office. Dy-Ragos had entered an Alford plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit disorderly conduct, a gross misdemeanor.
Luis Baca, 55, El Paso, Texas:
On May 16, 2012, Clark County District Court Judge David Barker sentenced Luis Baca to one day in the Clark County Detention Center with credit for time served. Baca had pled no contest to one count of deceptive trade practice, a misdemeanor.
Ramon Dy-Ragos and Jesus Baca are jointly and severally liable for full restitution in the amount of $43,772, which has been received in full. Victims scammed by the now-defunct Las Vegas company will split $43,772 in restitution with checks ranging as high as $10,750 to $500. The average check is approximately $3,650.
To avoid becoming a victim of a loan modification or foreclosure rescue scam, consumers should be aware of the following warning signs:
– The company calls itself a “mortgage consultant,” “foreclosure service,” “loan modification specialist” or something similar
– The company or specialist requests a fee before providing services
– The company or specialist tells homeowners to make their home mortgage payments directly to the individual or company and not to the mortgage lender
– The company or specialist tells the homeowner to transfer his property deed or title to the company
– The company promises “guaranteed loan modifications.” No one can “guarantee” a loan modification or can “guarantee” the ability to stop a foreclosure.
Additionally, remember the following:
– Don’t sign a contract under pressure
– Don’t sign away ownership of your property, often referred to as a “quit claim deed”
– Don’t pay your mortgage payments to someone other than your lender even if they promise to pass them on to the mortgage company
– Don’t sign anything with blank lines or spaces
– If you seek assistance from a licensed debt credit counselor ““ be sure they are a HUD approved agency or check with the Nevada Mortgage Lending Division
Consumers can avoid falling victim to scams by vising a HUD counseling agency. Those facing foreclosure, you can find help, free of charge, from HUD counseling agencies. For a complete list of HUD approved counseling agencies visit http://bit.ly/NVHUDCounselingAgencies.
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto held the press conference to announce the sentences, warn Nevadans of loan modification scams and to distribute restitution checks to 12 victims in the “Save Your House” case.
“I am pleased to provide these 12 victims with restitution checks, especially since receiving restitution in full is very rare,” said Masto. “My office will continue to investigate and prosecute loan modification scams and similar crimes. Protecting Nevadans remains a top priority for us.”
The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Mortgage Fraud Division of the Office of the Attorney General. This case is being handled by Samuel Kern, Deputy Attorney General with the Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Consumers who believe they have been the victim of mortgage fraud should contact the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline: 702-486-3132 to receive information on how to submit a written complaint.