A foreclosure scam that lasted for 15 years ended with the sentencing of 48-year-old Glen Alan Ward of Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Ward, who was a federal fugitive for 12 years, ended up receiving an 11-year sentence after pleading guilty to three separate charges.
Authorities claim Ward bilked distressed homeowners out of thousands of dollars, promising to save their homes when he had no such intent.
In reality, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Department of Justice claim Ward collected $700 in fees from each borrower, while simultaneously stealing the identity of a debtor listed in a public bankruptcy database. Ward then had his clients record a grant deed transferring an interest in the distressed home to the bankruptcy debtor – which was technically a stolen identity.
Soon after, Ward faxed a copy of the bankruptcy petition to the lender, asking the bank to stop foreclosure proceedings with the homeowner's interest now in bankruptcy.
U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer in the Central District of California sentenced Ward this week. His alleged scheme ran for 15 years, and even led to him spending time on the run as a fugitive. When Ward is released from prison, he will have to pay $60,000 in restitution.
"By fleeing to Canada, Ward thought he could out-run federal authorities and keep swindling struggling homeowners and defrauding lenders, including numerous TARP recipients," said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP(SIGTARP).
"Ward was proven wrong, and with today’s sentencing, Ward will spend the next 11 years in federal prison as a consequence of his actions. If you engage in fraud related to TARP, you will be held accountable and brought to justice by SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners."