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Maryland Man Sentenced for Defrauding Homeowners

As a part of ongoing legal proceedings, the office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) announced that Brian Kelly was sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison for his participation in a $4 million nationwide home loan modification scheme.

Kelly will serve an additional three years of supervised release following his prison term. Restitution efforts involving the lost funds will be determined at a later date, according to the government agency.

Kelly pleaded guilty on May 2, 2013 to one count of conspiracy, nine counts of mail fraud, and nine counts of wire fraud.

"Kelly was a chief telemarketer at 'HOPE' and was on the frontline defrauding struggling homeowners out of their homes, making false promises, and taking what precious, little savings they had left," said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP.

Kelly and others, operating under the name Home Owners Protection Economics (HOPE), misrepresented themselves to struggling homeowners in order to net $400 to $2,000 in up-front fees in exchanges for HOPE's help obtaining federally funded home loan modifications.

"According to court documents, in exchange for the up-front fees, HOPE sent its customers, including homeowners in Massachusetts, a do-it-yourself application package, which was virtually identical to the application that the government provides free of charge. The HOPE customers had no advantage in the application process, and, in fact, most of their applications were denied," the agency said.

As previously reported by DS News, other men connected with the scam also received jail time. Christopher Godfrey and Dennis Fischer each were sentenced to 7 years in prison, while Vernell Burris Jr. was sentenced to 12 months and a day in prison.

About Author: Colin Robins

Colin Robins is the online editor for DSNews.com. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Texas A&M University and a Master of Arts from the University of Texas, Dallas. Additionally, he contributes to the MReport, DS News' sister site.

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