An Aliso Viejo man pleaded guilty Monday to ripping off more than 1,500 victims in a mortgage relief scheme.
Charles Wayne Farris, 55, pleaded guilty in a Santa Ana federal courtroom to a single count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, according to Nicole A. Navas, a Washington, D.C.-based public affairs specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice.
From 2008 through June 2009, Farris led a scheme to trick homeowners to pay $3,500 to $5,500 to his companies that promised a “team of experienced attorneys” would negotiate lower interest rates and a principal balance, Navas said.
Farris supervised dozens of telemarketers who took calls from the national advertising campaign and told distressed homeowners lies such as the business had been operating for 11 years and that it had helped many other homeowners, Navas said.
Farris admitted in the plea deal that his schemes took in about $9 million from about 1,500 victims. He was scheduled to be sentenced April 17.
Attorney Ronald Rodis pleaded guilty on June 27 and another co- defendant, Bryan D’Antonio, is charged with 23 felony counts that include wire fraud and conspiracy, according to prosecutors.
D’Antonio also faces 13 counts of criminal contempt for violating a 2001 federal court order banning him from participating in telemarketing operations. D’Antonio was scheduled to go on trial Sept. 20.
–City News Service