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A pair of California residents received prison sentences for their roles in a wide-ranging mortgage loan modification scheme.
Serj Geutssoyan was sentenced in federal court in Bridgeport, Conn., to 52 months of prison and Daniel Shiau to 58 months, along with three years of supervised release and an order to pay restitution of nearly $2.4 million. Geutssoyan and Shiau were part of a network that operated a constellation of California-based companies that fraudulently marketed loan modifications and consumer debt relief services in exchange for upfront fees to homeowners in multiple states. More than 1,000 homeowners were conned by this scam, resulting in losses of more than $3 million.
Geutssoyan and Shiau were the senior salesmen in this operation, which was run by Aria Maleki. All three pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and Maleki was sentenced in July to 112 months of imprisonment plus forfeiture of money from bank and Bitcoin accounts. Four defendants charged in the case have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.