SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An Oceanside attorney and a telemarketing salesman were arraigned in federal court Tuesday on a 50-count indictment charging them with defrauding thousands of homeowners in an $11 million "loan modification" fraud scheme.
Dean G. Chandler and 25-year-old Shelveen Singh -- and two other defendants previously arraigned -- are accused of using Chandler's Oceanside-based law firm, 1st American Law Center, to persuade victims to pay thousands of dollars each by deceptively touting 1ALC's purported success and legal resources, and falsely promising that 1ALC would successfully modify their residential mortgage loans.
"Mortgage modification scams prey on struggling and trusting homeowners," said Leslie P. DeMarco, Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation. "Today's court actions are a strong reminder of how serious our courts consider this criminal activity."
The defendants and their co-conspirators allegedly used high-pressure sales tactics and outright lies to prey on homeowners across the country who were struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments and were at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.
The conspirators falsely promised to have a team of attorneys pre-screen client applications -- claiming that the attorneys only approved 30 percent of those seeking to use 1ALC's services -- and boasted of having a 98 percent success rate in obtaining loan modifications, the indictment alleges.
Chandler, 47, appeared in television commercials and on the company's websites as the attorney in charge of the company, soliciting customers throughout the United States, prosecutors said.
Chandler is charged along with telemarketers Singh and Anthony Calandriello, and call center manager Michael Eccles, with conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud through the operation of 1ALC.
Chandler is also charged with money laundering because he allegedly conducted financial transactions with the proceeds of the fraudulent conspiracy.
A five year old girl's dream came true today with the help of the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Leona, who lives in San Marcos and is battling cancer, wished to have the ultimate pirate ship playhouse in her backyard.
In celebration of American Heart Month, Rady Children's Hospital hosted its 34th annual Heart Party. It was a chance for former heart patients and the doctors who treated them to reunite.
Fair, warm and dry weather continues through Saturday, but an onshore flow will bring low clouds and fog Saturday night and much cooler weather to the county on Sunday.
Neighbors say the Prince Recycling Center on Voltaire Street is attracting crime and transients, and they want the center to move out of the area.
Few of us really know how our coworkers spend their time when they are off the clock. In Thursday's Zevely Zone, Jeff gets to know Ryan Brothers - a writer here at KFMB Stations and News 8 - who put his own signature on Mission Trails Regional Park.
A San Marcos man who shot his girlfriend and left her body in her car, parked along northbound Interstate 15 near Escondido, was convicted Friday of first-degree murder.
A local company is on the cutting edge of ocean exploration using unmanned vehicles powered by wind and sun and the future looks bright for these ocean drones, which currently are being tested off the coast of San Diego.