A disbarred former Fullerton-based attorney was arrested Friday on federal charges of defrauding about 75 financially desperate homeowners in Orange County out of more than $1.4 million for promised loan modification services he never delivered.

File photo.

Moses S. Hall, 60, who now lives in Blackwood, New Jersey, was indicted this week on fraud and tax charges, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Hall was disbarred in California on June 21, 2012. According to the State Bar, he admitted bilking four clients out of tens of thousands of dollars by instructing them to stop making mortgage payments and send the payments to him while he worked on getting a loan modification to lower their mortgage fees.

The clients lost their homes and Hall did not return the money they had paid to him, according to the State Bar, which reported that Hall was ordered to repay $11,507.45 to one client, $15,903.44 to another, and $22,262.02 to a married couple.

Hall had far more than four victims, according to a 16-count indictment returned Wednesday, which alleges he operated a mortgage modification scheme from 2008 through 2012.

According to the indictment, which mirrors the State Bar case, he told clients to make mortgage payments to him so he could use the money to negotiate with the banks, but instead he pocketed the funds.

Some victims in the indictment lost their homes, Mrozek said. One couple, who lost their home, also lost $400,000 to Hall, who spent the money on himself in six months, the indictment alleges.

Hall also did not tell his clients he was a convicted felon who did time in state prison in New Jersey before he got a law license in California, the indictment alleges.

At one point, Hall took $25,000 he received from his clients to buy a Mercedes-Benz, the indictment alleges.

Hall also failed to file tax returns for 2008-12 and report more than $1 million in income, the indictment alleges, and failed to file a federal return in 2009 that should have reported more than $400,000 in income.

Hall represented a Corona couple who filed a class-action lawsuit against their lenders and ended up winning an appeal in state court. The Fourth Appellate District justices did not issue a ruling on the case, but said the couple could make their case to a lower court judge.

Hall told City News Service at the time that the significance of the ruling was that it pushed lenders to more meaningfully work with borrowers to save their homes from foreclosure.

“Now every homeowner in California can sue if they don’t have a meaningful discussion with their lender on ways to save their home,” Hall said in a June 2010 interview.

The ruling focused on a 2008 state law that intended to push lenders to work harder to help distressed homeowners.

“Now the banks can spend billions of dollars fighting lawsuits or they can just offer trial modifications,” Hall said. “And there’s a litany of things banks can do to help people keep their homes.”

— City News Service

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