A Lake Elsinore man is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail for allegations of perpetrating a home loan modification scam that targeted distressed property owners in California and Hawaii.
Duy Khac Nguyen
34 year-old Duy Khac Nguyen was arrested following 3 year-long investigation of an alleged loan modification scam that was conducted by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Honolulu police, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Secret Service. Nguyen is being charged with 15 counts of grand theft and one misdemeanor count of petty theft.
The Loan Modification Scam
According to sheriff’s investigators, in 2010 and 2011 Nguyen operated a business called First Universal Solutions. The business purported to provide assistance to homeowners who had found themselves upside-down on their mortgages who were seeking to avoid foreclosure via refinancing or taking advantage of the federal Home Affordability Mortgage Program (HAMP). Allegedly, Nguyen and another man, identified as Patt Wattanachinda, contacted up to 20 people, offering to help the victims obtain loan modifications. Most of the victims are from Hawaii but at least one lives in Northern California.
According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Nguyen and Wattanachinda convinced the targeted homeowners to write them checks in varying amounts to arrange for government assistance. One of the checks was as high as $4,800. According to the investigation the total estimated loss to the victims was $61,000. Nguyen and Wattanachinda allegedly pocketed the funds.
Justice for the Victims
Wattanachinda’s whereabouts are still unknown. Nguyen is tentatively slated to be arraigned June 16 at the Southwest Justice Center.
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