An indictment was unsealed today alleging seven defendants, including an attorney, were involved in what Orange County prosecutors say was the biggest loan modification scam in the country.
The defendants are accused of stealing about $13.5 million from about 3,500 victims in a scheme promising to help distressed homeowners with loan modifications, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.
The defendants, who all face multiple felony charges, are Maziar Bordbar, 31, of Irvine; Nathaniel Ferrer, 26, of Orange; attorney Pamela Gressier, 54, of Huntington Beach; Saeid Yarandi, 31, of Irvine; Roberto Duran, 41, of Montebello; Masood Taghizadeh, 64, of Laguna Niguel and Joel Valdellon, 31, of Dana Point.
From November 2010 to June 2011, Bordbar and Yarandi incorporated Consult Marketing Group Inc. and Secured Processing Inc., according to prosecutors. Gressier is accused of filing a statement with Orange County to do business as Prudential Law Group, Remedy Law and Remedy Center Law.
Bordbar, Yarandi, Ferrer and Gressier operated Prudential Law Group, which later became the Prudent Law Group, and was advertised under other similar names to offer loan modification services, according to prosecutors.
They also hired telemarketers to follow up on mailed advertisements, prosecutors said.
Duran, Taghizadeh and Valdellon managed the sales teams, prosecutors said.
The seven are accused of lying to customers that they could help them with loan modifications and that they would be represented by attorneys. They illegally charged upfront fees for loan modifications, prosecutors alleged.
Gressier, Ferrer, Bordbar and Yarandi are accused of laundering money by transferring funds through multiple bank accounts, and Bordber is accused of making a series of transactions under $10,000 to avoid triggering an automatic notification to the Department of Justice, according to prosecutors.
Bordbar, Yarandi and Gressier also are accused of filing false tax returns.
The alleged victims contacted Newport Beach police, who investigated the case.
Bordbar, Duran, Ferrer, Taghizadeh and Valdellon were arrested May 14.
Warrants were issued for the arrest of Gressier and Yarandi.
An arraignment was scheduled for June 3.
--City News Service