New Jersey man draws nine-year prison stint for mortgage fraud

It’s the second time in as many days that justice officials have announced prosecution in a mortgage fraud case. Earlier this week, Department of Justice officials revealed that Sergio Lorenzo Rodriguez of Orange County, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with a fraudulent foreclosure rescue scheme that took in at least $5 million in prohibited advance fees from thousands of financially distressed homeowners.

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In that case, justice officials described how Rodriguez, 47, and a co-conspirator, from around mid-2015 through August 2020, owned and/or managed a series of mortgage modification companies through which they perpetrated a scheme to defraud and attempt to defraud, through deceptive marketing practices, financially distressed consumers who were facing or were at imminent risk of foreclosure.

And in February, an Atlanta real estate agent was charged for running multi-year mortgage and real estate commission fraud schemes. Eric Hill, 52, faces two years and six months in federal prison – to be followed by three years of supervised release – after pleading guilty to conspiracy charges. His accomplice, Robert Kelske, 54, also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14, justice officials said.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Atlanta, Hill and Kelske conspired with 12 other people to run a $21 million mortgage scam and separate scheme to defraud his employer, a national real estate developer, out of over $480,000 in real estate commissions.

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