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Five People in Tampa Convicted of Fraud in Foreclosure Prevention Scam

4/3/2007

PRESS RELEASE: APRIL 3, 2007
CONTACT: Mike Brown, Area Financial Manager
PHONE NUMBER: (813) 218-5308
 
TALLAHASSEE – Don B. Saxon, Commissioner of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, announced the conviction of five individuals in Tampa, Florida on multiple counts of fraud.  On March 29, 2007, a federal jury convicted five individuals of fraud stemming from an indictment alleging a scheme to cheat homeowners out of the equity in their homes and to defraud mortgage lenders.
 
The individuals, Ramzey Moumneh, Kamal Moumneh, Chuong X. Dam, Demetrios J. Voiklis, and Kimberly Brothers, were all convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and making a false statement to a federally insured lender.  Each faces a maximum 35 year prison sentence.
 
The defendants targeted homeowners located throughout central and south Florida who were about to lose their homes through foreclosure.  The homeowners were told that First Hanover Mortgage Corp., a company owned and controlled by the Moumneh brothers, could help them avoid foreclosure and keep their homes at no cost. 
 
In reality, homeowners were duped into selling their homes to “straw buyers” who were recruited by the defendants.   The defendants falsely told homeowners that they could later buy their homes back and fraudulently obtained new mortgage loans in the names of the straw buyers.  In each instance, the amount of the new loan was in excess of the balance owed on the existing mortgage and the excess funds were paid to entities owned by the Moumnehs and Chuong Dam.
 
Don Saxon, Commissioner of the Office of Financial Regulation, commends his investigators, the FBI and the United States Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida for their work on this investigation and prosecution.
 
Consumers facing home foreclosures should beware of foreclosure scams! – Solutions that sound too simple or too good to be true usually are.
 
The Office of Financial Regulation encourages consumers facing home foreclosure to seek professional guidance, to check with their lender before entering into any deal involving their home, and not to sign any papers they don’t fully understand.
 
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