A federal jury sentenced Anthony T. Williams, from Louisiana, to 240 months’ imprisonment for wire and mail fraud connected with a fraudulent mortgage relief scheme after a four-week trial. The Court also imposed three years of supervised release and restitution.
According to the evidence, Williams marketed a fraudulent mortgage debt reduction scheme to distressed homeowners, mostly non-native English speakers in Hawaii’s Filipino immigrant community. Williams set up two companies, Mortgage Enterprise Investments (MEI) and Common Law Office of America (CLOA). None of them was licensed to service or modify mortgages. Through MEI, Williams made false promises to clients saying he could eliminate or reduce by half their existing mortgage obligations. Through CLOA, Williams promised legal representation in mortgage-related litigation and foreclosure proceedings. He also told prospective clients he was a “private attorney general” even though he did not have a law license or any affiliation with law enforcement.
Between 2012 and 2015, Williams targeted and preyed upon distressed homeowners in the Filipino community and fraudulently collected over $230,000 from his victims without providing any legitimate services. Many victims declared that they had relied upon Williams’s representations and went into foreclosure or bankruptcy; two of them also said they lost their homes due to Williams’s plot.
The Court’s imprisonment sentence is to run following a fifteen-year sentence handed down earlier to Williams for similar fraudulent conduct in Florida.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the investigation, and the assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth M. Sorenson and Gregg Paris Yates handled the prosecution.