The Orange County district attorney on Thursday unsealed an indictment related to a $13.5-million loan-modification scheme that officials called the largest crime of its type ever prosecuted in the United States.
The conspiracy allegedly pulled in at least 3,500 victims using mailers, a misleading website and telemarketers over a span of more than two years.
Once lured in, the victims were charged an illegal up-front loan-modification fee and promised services the company couldn't offer, according to law enforcement officials.
Four Orange County residents were accused of being behind the scam: Maziar Bordbar, 31, of Irvine; Nathaniel Ferrer, 26, of Orange; Pamela Gressier, 54, of Huntington Beach; and Saeid Yarandi, 31, of Irvine.
They are accused of setting up a company and continually changing its name -- to Prudent Law, Remedy Center Law or other similar titles, the Daily Pilot reported.
Bordbar, Ferrer, Gressier and Yarandi each face decades in prison if they're convicted on scores of felonies related to fraud and money laundering, according to the district attorney's office.
Three more alleged conspirators -- Roberto Duran, 41, of Montebello; Masood Taghizadeh, 64, of Laguna Niguel; and Joel Valdellon, 31, of Dana Point -- were hired to manage the company's misleading sales team, according to authorities.
The trio are accused of training their team to falsely tell customers that they qualified for loan modifications and assure them that a lawyer from the company could represent them, the district attorney's office said.
Gressier, however, was the only licensed attorney of the bunch, according to the district attorney's office.
Duran, Taghizadeh and Valdellon each face six felonies related to fraud, conspiracy and theft. They each could spend up to 14 years in state prison if convicted.
Newport Beach police and U.S. Secret Service agents arrested Bordbar, Duran, Ferrer, Taghizadeh and Valdellon on May 14. Their bail amounts range from $3.5 million to $9.8 million.
Their arrests were the culmination of an investigation Newport police started in August 2012.
Gressier and Yarandi have not been apprehended; warrants are out for their arrests.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times