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3 accused of mail fraud in purported mortgage scam

Warrants were recently issued for the arrest of three individuals, stemming from allegations of a mortgage scam for homeowners in the Aurora area. Illinois and federal authorities suspect that the three individuals tricked homeowners into paying them for foreclosure help. Supposedly, no assistance was actually rendered. So far, only one of the three has yet to be arrested; all three are charged with mail fraud.

According to the report, the three operated under the name Washington National Trust; however, the business was neither a trust nor licensed to assist persons with mortgages. Nevertheless, Washington National promised homeowners facing foreclosure that they could help reduce their mortgage payments, for a fee. Fifty-four Aurora homeowners reportedly gave the purported trust between $5,000 and $10,000 each, totaling nearly $220,000.

Investigators claim that the three used the swindled money on personal expenses as well as business expenses, such as finder's fees for others who helped supposedly ensnare homeowners. They began investigating the business when the Kane County recorder's office received a note stating that a homeowner planned to pay the trust $159,000 -- authorities were alerted. The investigation also purportedly uncovered that many homeowners paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees, which is illegal, for services they never received.

One of the accused persons, 39 years old, has been arrested and pleaded not guilty to two counts of mail fraud. The other two, ages 37 and 43, are charged with four counts of mail fraud each, but they have yet to be arrested. If enough evidence exists against each person to move their criminal proceedings forward in a federal courtroom in Illinois, then they would each benefit from examining the variety of options available to them in an effort to choose what they feel will lead to the most desirable outcome for their case.

Source: Chicago Tribune, 3 charged with mortgage rescue fraud scheme, Mary Ellen Podmolik, Dec. 18, 2013

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