Local Woman Indicted on Charges Involving a Credit Repair Scam
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 08, 2011|
ST. LOUIS—The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that Marien Brown allegedly falsely represented that she operated a “mortgage rescue” or “foreclosure rescue” service.
According to the indictment, Marien Brown, a/k/a Marien White, owned and operated both 1st Financial Resource, LLC, (First Financial) and 1st Federal Resource, LLC, (First Federal). She created and operated First Financial from September 2008 until March 2009, at which time the business became known as 1st Federal Resource, LLC (First Federal). She registered the business as 1939 Wentzville Parkway, Suite 178,Wentzville, Missouri, which is actually a UPS store which provides commercial mailbox services. She actually allegedly conducted the business from her residence on Ivy Brook Court in Wentzville.
The indictment alleges that she researched and identified groups of homeowners in the state of Hawaii that were one or more mortgage payments behind, or were in imminent risk of home foreclosure then targeted that group of vulnerable home owners, and sent out a large number of unsolicited mailings to prospective clients representing that she operated a “mortgage rescue” or foreclosure rescue” service. More than 80 clients responded to her mailings and wired funds to First Financial and to First Federal. Marien Brown converted these funds to her own use. None of the client funds were ever sent to lenders.
Clients quickly realized that their funds had not been sent to their lenders, and that no new mortgage rates had been negotiated. Clients then began to call their mortgage holders who advised that they had no knowledge of, and no relationship with, First Federal or Marien Brown. Clients then attempted to reach Marien Brown and repeatedly left messages for her. The only way clients were able to get her to return calls, was to leave a message expressing a desire to wire her additional funds.
Brown, 41, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four felony counts of wire fraud and one felony count of mail fraud. She appeared in federal court earlier today.
If convicted, each count carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Howard J. Marcus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.