Orange County Superior Court. Photo by John Schreiber
Orange County Superior Court. Photo by John Schreiber

A Brea man who duped victims into believing he owned two law firms that could help distressed homeowners renegotiate their mortgages was sentenced Monday to more than nine years in federal prison.

The scheme took in about $9 million from about 1,500 victims, prosecutors said.

Bryan D’Antonio, who pleaded guilty last August to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, claimed to be owner and operator of fake firms Rodis Law Group and America’s Law Group, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge David O. Carter sentenced D’Antonio to 97 months behind bars, with the rest of his 109-month term to be served in a halfway house, according to Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Carter also ordered the 50-year-old defendant to pay $3.8 million in restitution.

Between October 2008 and June 2009, D’Antonio got distressed homeowners to pay up to $5,500 to a team of fictitious attorneys to negotiate lower mortgage rates, prosecutors said.

Co-defendant Ronald Rodis, who was the only attorney involved in the scheme, previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing. Co-defendant Charles Wayne Farris also previously pleaded guilty.

D’Antonio had previously been convicted of mail and wire fraud and been sentenced to four years in prison for a medical billing scheme. As such, he was prohibited from participating in any business involving telemarketing, as was done in the loan-modification scam, prosecutors said.

— City News Service

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