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Senior Loan Officer with Metropolitan Money Store Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme March 9, 2010

Posted by jefhenninger in News.
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A federal grand jury has indicted Rolando Alonzo Cousins, a/k/a “Junior,” age 31, of Bowie, Maryland, for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering, in connection with a massive mortgage fraud scheme which promised to help homeowners facing foreclosure keep their homes and repair their damaged credit, but left them homeless and with no equity. Although the indictment was returned on March 8, 2010, Cousins was arrested today.

According to the 11-count indictment, Cousins was a Senior Loan Officer with the Metropolitan Money Store (MMS), located in Lanham, Maryland, which offered foreclosure consultation and credit services to financially distressed homeowners. Cousins also owned and operated Prosper Investments LLC. In 2005, Joy Jackson and Jennifer McCall incorporated Metropolitan Money Store. Also at that time, Jackson, Jennifer McCall, Jackson’s husband, Kurt Forham, McCall’s husband, Clifford McCall, and others incorporated Fordham & Fordham Investment Group, Ltd. (F&F) and Burroughs & Smythe Financial Services, Inc. (B&S), based in Lanham and Greenbelt, Maryland, to assist Metropolitan Money Store in its foreclosure consulting and credit servicing business.

The indictment alleges that from September 2004 through June, 2007, Cousins, Jackson, McCall, and others, operating through several companies, including the Metropolitan Money Store, fraudulently promised to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, keep their homes, and repair their damaged credit by directing the homeowners to allow title to their homes to be put in the names of third party purchasers (the straw buyers) for a one-year period, during which time the defendants would help the homeowners obtain more favorable mortgages, improve their credit rating and eventually return title to their homes to them. Cousins, Jackson, McCall, and others told the homeowners that the equity withdrawn from the properties would be used to pay the mortgage and expenses on their homes and to repair their credit.

In fact, the indictment alleges that Cousins, Jackson, McCall, and others paid approximately $10,000 to each of the straw buyers to participate in the scheme; fraudulently bolstered the credit of the straw buyers so they could qualify for more favorable mortgages; obtained fraudulently inflated loans on the properties in the straw buyers names; served as straw buyers themselves; stripped away the bulk of the homeowners equity proceeds and converted that money to their own personal use; and stopped making the mortgage payments on the homes, resulting in the homes being foreclosed upon.

The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $1.5 million, alleged to be Cousins’ proceeds from the scheme.

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