California Men Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Two men from California have been sentenced for their involvement in a mortgage loan scheme that affected homeowners in Connecticut and across the country, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Serj Geutssoyan, also known as Anthony Kirk, 32, of Santa Ana, was sentenced to 52 months in prison, and Daniel Shiau, also known as Scott Decker, 30, of Irvine, was sentenced to 58 months.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Geutssoyan and Shiau worked as members of a sales team for a series of California-based companies run by Aria Maleki that promised to offer home mortgage loan modifications and debt relief services to homeowners in exchange for fees. The fees ranged from around $2,500 to $4,300.

Investigators said the defendants claimed that customers were already approved for mortgage loan modifications, or that they’d negotiated with the homeowners’ lenders or qualified for government assistance to get victims to pay the fees. According to investigators, the defendants scammed more than 1,000 homeowners out of more than $3 million collectively.

Prosecutors said that Geutssoyan and Shiau were paid on commission and earned between 45 percent and 50 percent of the final fee.

On Jan. 21, Maleki, Geutssoyan, Shiau and four other California residents were charged with conspiracy and fraud offenses. They were arrested on Jan. 26.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Maleki, Geutssoyan and Shiau each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Maleki was sentenced to 112 months of imprisonment in July. The four other defendants also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.

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