Two Sentenced in TARP Fraud Case

Two Sentenced in TARP Fraud Case

09/16/2013 BY: HUGH MOORE

Two men were sentenced to a combined 17 years in prison on Friday for their roles in a nationwide foreclosure rescue scam according to Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP). Mark S. Farhood, 49, formerly of San Diego, California, and Jason S. Slant, 38, formerly of Lecanto, Florida, deceived hundreds of distressed homeowners into surrendering their properties to the men’s fraudulent company.

The company went by various names, including Home Advocate Trustees and Walk Away Today, and used various websites to deceive homeowners into surrendering their property. Farhood was sentenced to 11 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. Sand was sentenced to 6 years in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

“Farhood should spend the next 11 years in prison thinking about how he preyed on and cheated 389 distressed homeowners out of their homes by ‘buying’ their homes in fake sales for $10 per property and then renting out the homes for $4 million, which he used to fund construction of his $1 million home in Costa Rica,” Romero said. “Farhood and his co-conspirator Sant, who was sentenced to six years in prison, hid their identities, stole identities of people whose pictures they found on the Internet, and exploited TARP’s housing program by submitting phony applications to stall foreclosures while they rented out the properties.”

Farhood and Sant admitted in their pleas that their business was a fraud, and that the scheme allowed them to take possession of hundreds of residential properties and rent them to unsuspecting tenants. Farhood and Sant would then use fraudulent applications under the Treasury Department’s Making Home Affordable Program to delay foreclosure proceedings on the properties so they could continue collecting rent. The homes ended up in foreclosure, resulting in eviction of the tenants.

“When caught by SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners, Farhood tried to hide the proceeds of his crime, including the Costa Rica house and bags of silver coins, and tried to have computer evidence of his crime deleted,” Romero said. “SIGTARP will bring to justice all those who commit crimes exploitingTARP bailout.”

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