Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced the arrest of the owners of Best Value Homes Inc. for conspiracy to commit RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) and organized fraud. Best Value Homes misrepresented services by promising to modify their clients’ mortgages and taking the victims’ money without completing the promised services. The Florida Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, 11th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office, and Miami-Dade Police Department’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force partnered to arrest and charge the defendants, Ronald Rodriguez, Zoar Rodriguez, Berta M. Cabrera and Kellyd Rodriguez. The total loss is estimated at $750,000 for 500 victims. If convicted of all counts, the defendants could be sentenced to terms of up to sixty years in prison. “It is disgraceful that these criminals defrauded hundreds of Floridians who are merely trying to pay for their homes and shelter their families,” said AG Bondi. “Telemarketing scams are a serious threat to Florida consumers, and we will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute these lawbreakers.” During approximately six months in 2008 and 2009, Best Value Homes Inc. of Miami called itself a “Mortgage Loan Modification Company” and used telemarketing methods to solicit prospective clients. The company told the prospective clients that they could modify their existing home mortgage loans. The clients were required to sign a third-party contract, which makes no promises of a loan modification, giving the company permission to negotiate the mortgage loan with financial institutions. The clients were also required to pay an upfront fee, ranging from $1,500 to $1,750. In Florida, legitimate loan modification businesses are required to be licensed by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation and are prohibited from requiring advance fees. If you believe to have been victimized by Best Value Home, Inc., please contact the Miami-Dade Police Department Economic Crimes Bureau at 305-994-1000, or the Attorney General's Fraud Hotline at 866-966-7226.