A Michigan man faces multiple felony charges for defrauding more than 100 victims of $300,000 in a mortgage loan modification scam.
The Michigan attorney general’s office alleges that Anthony Carta, 53, owner of Freedom by Faith Ministries in Detroit, took money from victims facing home foreclosures – including one of his own employees – promising to help them secure loan modifications through their lender.
The charges say Carta pocketed the money and did nothing.
Freedom by Faith Ministries never held regular faith-based gatherings but only hosted a website that advertised Carta's books and mortgage assistance program.
"Using the guise of faith to trick innocent people into entrusting their money to a sham organization is deplorable," said state attorney general Bill Schuette, "My team is committed to partnering with law enforcement to bring down these scam artists wherever they operate."
The AG’s office says that Carta hired Kelita Leflore in 2011 to gain additional business in the Detroit area. Once Leflore sold a mortgage service, the proceeds and client file were turned over to Carta to negotiate.
Leflore sold at least 100 mortgage modifications for Freedom by Faith.
Leflore discovered that Carta was not actually negotiating for clients because she contacted one of the victim's banks and learned that Carta never contacted the bank.
Carta allegedly promised Leflore he would assist with her own mortgage problems and she ended up losing her home because Carta never contacted her bank.
Leflore contacted clients personally, advised them of the crime and encouraged victims to file complaints with the Better Business Bureau and the AG’s office.
Carta was arrested on April 2 and faces the following charges:
- One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a 20 year felony
- One count of falsepretenses$20,000 – $50,000,a fifteen year felony
- Five counts of false pretenses $1,000- $20,000,five year felonies all