Owner of Loan Modification Company Sentenced on Fraud Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 17, 2013|
ST. LOUIS, MO—Derek Doherty was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $98,835 restitution involving a scheme to defraud clients by taking advance fees for loan audits that he never performed.
According to court documents, between April and August 2010, Doherty created Home Safe Financial, a mortgage loan modification and audit company operating first in St. Louis, then Overland Park, Kansas, before merging with California-based Financial Hope for America in August 2010. Doherty advertised to potential clients a paid loan audit accompanied by a free loan modification. He represented that he and his company would review client’s mortgage loans and determine whether the mortgages complied with the provisions of various federal housing and lending statutes and regulations, for a fee of $3,000. He mailed contracts and accepted payments from clients, while representing that he had the ability to perform a loan audit and that a loan audit would be completed. However, Doherty never completed any of the loan audits and, in fact, never purchased the necessary software to perform them.
Doherty, Temecula, California, formally of St. Louis, pled guilty in May to one felony count of mail fraud. He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge E. Richard Webber.
This case was investigated by the Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Dianna Collins handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.