A Manhattan federal court charged Guy Samuel, the co-owner of a company that purported to provide mortgage modification services, and four former employees of the company, for their alleged participation in a multimillion-dollar scheme that victimized more than 500 financially struggling homeowners across the country, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) said this week.

Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP, and Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the unsealing of an indictment on Wednesday. Special Inspector General for TARP Christy Romero said:

"Samuel and his coconspirators stand charged with ripping off struggling homeowners desperately trying to keep a roof over their heads in the midst of the nation’s housing crisis. They allegedly claimed their ‘business’ was affiliated with TARP’s housing program, HAMP, and instructed victims to stop paying their mortgages immediately, transfer thousands of dollars in upfront frees to their company in exchange for false promises of a guaranteed mortgage modification, and cease all communication with their mortgage lenders."