The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), as part of its crackdown on mortgage scams, has charged three more defendants with promoting phony mortgage relief services. According to court papers filed by the FTC, the three defendants were part of an operation that falsely claimed that in exchange for up-front fees ranging from $299 to $699, it would get consumers’ mortgages modified, lowering their monthly mortgage payments. The defendants also misrepresented themselves as consumers’ mortgage lenders or servicers or their affiliates, in violation of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule. Even though some consumers did receive offers to modify their loans, the offers were not much more affordable than their original payments, the Commission charged. Some of the modification offers required even higher monthly payments. The FTC added April Botton Krawiecki, her father, Samy Botton, and Attorney Aid LLC to the list of defendants in one of the operations targeted in the crackdown, known as Operation Stolen Hope. The Commission initially charged Kirkland Young LLC and David Botton (Samy Botton’s son) with deceptively marketing mortgage relief services. A federal court subsequently froze their assets and halted the operation until the case is resolved. The Commission vote to file the amended complaint was 4-0. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. For more information, visit www.ftc.gov.