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SIGTARP: 5 Californians plead guilty in nationwide home loan modification scam

RoscoeUmali, Jefferson Maniscan, Raymund Dacanay, Isaac Perez and Joshua Johnson, allLos Angeles residents, pleaded guilty to defrauding over 400 homeowners out ofmore than $3.8 million, according to a March 30 news release from the Office ofthe Special Inspector General for Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Thedefendants were indicted Oct. 22, 2015, and each faces a maximum penalty of 20years in prison, Christie Romero, the special inspector general of TARP, said.Umali, Maniscan and Dacanay will be sentenced June 23, while Perez and Johnsonwill be sentenced July 7.

Umali,ringleader of a nationwide mortgage scam ring, and four of his co-conspiratorswill pay at least $1.2 million in restitution and forfeitures to their victims.They made false claims of operating a non-profit company, brazenly used theU.S. Treasury seal on fabricated documents, and invented fictitious HAMPbenefits, Romero said. Victims paid thousands of dollars in reinstatement feesand trial mortgage payments that never went to their respective lenders;instead Umali and his co-conspirators pocketed over $3.8 million.