Federal authorities indicted four California men Thursday in connection with a bogus loan modification program that reportedly bilked hundreds of struggling homeowners out of millions of dollars nationwide at the height of the financial crisis.
According to the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), federal agents Tuesday arrested Samuel Paul Bain, 35, an owner and principal of U.S. Homeowners Relief in Orange County, Calif.; Aminullah Sarpas, a.k.a. David Sarpas, 32, another owner and principal of the businesses; Damon Grant Carriger, 36, the company’s principal sales manager; and Louis Saggiani, 64, the manager and chief accountant for the businesses. The men were charged in a 33-count indictment for a range of crimes, including conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.
The arrests stemmed from a joint investigation by SIGTARP, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service’s criminal investigation office.
“Bain, Sarpas, Carriger, and Saggiani are charged with ripping off homeowners struggling to keep a roof over their heads during the depths of the housing crisis,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP. According to the indictment, the quartet allegedly demanded upfront fees of up to $4,200 from home owners in exchange for false promises of securing mortgage loan modifications on their behalf. The company touted a 97 percent success rate in securing these modifications and advertised money-back guarantees, as well as an affiliation with federal housing support programs, Romero said. “As a result, the indictment alleges that homeowners nationwide were ripped off by millions of dollars,” she said.