Defendants Convicted of Bankruptcy Fraud in Massive Foreclosure Scam

A Cincinnati jury found a Hamilton, OH man and a Brooklyn, NY woman guilty of multiple crimes, including bankruptcy fraud, in relation to a foreclosure scam that affected more than 750 homeowners across the country.

66-year-old Lorin Kal Buckner and 59-year-old Dessalines Sealy are two of 13 defendants convicted of conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud, as well as mail and wire fraud. In a multi-level scheme, the defendants are said to have preyed on desperate and distressed homeowners who were at risk of foreclosure for their own personal and financial gain. Luring them in with the promise of stalling or stopping the foreclosure altogether, the defendants sent tens of thousands of emails to distressed homeowners and took to social media platforms and websites like Craigslist to reach as many victims as possible. In exchange for an initial fee, defendants would refer the victims to co-conspiring companies who promised they would negotiate with mortgage lenders on the homeowner’s behalf to reduce or eliminate mortgage obligations.

The defendants also stated to victims that they had special “legal tactics and methods” that could help stall or stop the foreclosure when in reality they were scamming homeowners to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcies that would only temporarily delay the foreclosure process. The defendants would then file skeletal bankruptcy petitions and intentionally exclude their names to make it seem like the homeowners had filed the petitions themselves.

The court has not set a sentencing date, but conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud is punishable by up to five years in prison, while mail and wire fraud are punishable by up to 20 years.

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