Frank Ferris of Sacramento, Calif., pled no contest to one felony count of grand theft and three misdemeanor counts of collecting illegal up-front fees for loan modification services. Ferris was involved with Turbo Mortgage Modification, a business that provided mortgage modification services. On multiple occasions, Ferris demanded and collected illegal up-front payments from clients before services were performed.
The Honorable Kevin J. McCormick sentenced Ferris to five years of formal probation and ordered him to serve one year in the county jail. Given his age and health conditions, the Sheriff's Department may allow Ferris to serve his time through alternative sentencing. In addition, Ferris was ordered to pay $72,271.90 in victim restitution. Ferris has been disbarred from practicing law by the State Bar of California.
Ashik Azeez and Vicente Perez, who were involved in the loan modification business with Ferris, were previously convicted and sentenced on misdemeanor charges.
In a separate matter, while representing a victim in a civil case, he received $10,000 in trust to apply towards a settlement of the victim's legal matter. Instead, Ferris misappropriated the funds for his own personal use, causing a default judgment to be entered against the victim. The victim later discovered the judgment and had to hire another attorney to vacate the judgment and resolve the matter. In addition, Ferris failed to return $50,000 he received as an investment from another client and instead wrote that client non-sufficient fund checks.
Sacramento District Attorney Jan Scully announced the sentence. This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office Real Estate Fraud Unit.