Biden secures 21-count indictment in mortgage rescue fraud scheme

Wilmington, DE – February 4, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Today, Attorney General Beau Biden announced that Jamaar Manlove, Larry Manlove, Rhonda Manlove, Master Builders for Christ and Vision Builders Christian Center have been charged in a 21-count indictment for crimes related to a mortgage rescue scam. Warrants have been issued for their arrest and racketeering liens have been placed on their assets. This represents what is believed to be one of the largest mortgage rescue fraud indictments in Delaware history. The indictment alleges that Jamaar Manlove ran a criminal enterprise involving theft, money laundering, and forgery in which he preyed on vulnerable homeowners who faced imminent foreclosure. In these scams, struggling homeowners sell their homes to third parties to avoid foreclosure based on the false promise that they can repurchase their homes through a complex sale/lease-back arrangement when their financial situations improve. In reality, this never happens. Instead, these schemes impose exorbitant hidden fees that take thousands of ollars of equity away from homeowners, and they ultimately lose their homes, unable to obtain financing to repurchase their home.

“Those who take advantage of vulnerable homeowners under extreme financial duress or facing foreclosure should be on notice,” Attorney General Biden stated. “We will track you down, prosecute you, and put you behind bars.”

The indictment follows a 10-month investigation by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit and includes charges of Criminal Racketeering, Conspiracy, Money Laundering, Felony Theft, Forgery, and Failure to File Taxes. If convicted on all counts each defendant faces a minimum of two years in prison. Jamaar Manlove faces a maximum of 83 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

This case is the direct result of the collaborative work of the Delaware Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which was formed in June 2009 to reduce foreclosures and foreclosurerelated fraud statewide. Individuals who believe they may have been victimized in this scheme or other mortgage rescue frauds are urged to contact Special Investigator Craig Weldon of the Delaware Department of Justice Consumer Protection Unit at 302-577-8600.

The Delaware Department of Justice reminds the public that an indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a jury trial at which the state bears the burden of proving each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

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