Howard Shmuckler received a 90-month prison sentence with three years of supervised release for running a fraudulent mortgage-rescue business that amassed nearly $2.8 million from 2008 to 2009.

The case was investigated by several federal agencies, including the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the FBI.

"Shmuckler exploited homeowners desperately seeking support through federal housing programs such as HAMP by essentially guaranteeing the homeowners mortgage modifications in exchange for an upfront fee,” said Special Inspector General Christy Romero. “Shmuckler performed little if any service in return for the fees, and in many cases, the homeowners' properties fell into foreclosure."

A convicted as a felon and a disbarred attorney, Shmuckler opened The Shmuckler Group in Vienna, Va., to ostensibly help homeowners but it only obtained relief to about 4.5% of its clients, according to court reports.

Shmuckler pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud in April, according to SIGTARP. The court ordered that his sentence be served consecutive to a 75-month federal sentence Shmuckler received on April 5 in Washington, D.C., involving a counterfeit check scheme.

pdang@housingwire.com