(Source: Eddie Jimenez) – Two Fresno men accused of defrauding hundreds of people by promising to consolidate debts were arrested Thursday.
U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said a federal grand jury returned a 46-count indictment May 31 against Sharanjit Kaur, 36, and Baljit Singh, 47, on charges of conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and international money laundering.
Customers paid more than $400,000 to the defendants, Wagner said.
The indictment alleges that from June 2010 to June 2011 the two men owned and operated three businesses to defraud people throughout the country. Kaur and Singh told potential customers their companies could provide debt consolidation.
They also falsely promised they could renegotiate debts with creditors and mortgage lenders, obtain low-interest loans for customers, assist in avoiding lawsuits, lower car payments, replace high-interest credit cards with lower ones and correct errors in credit reports, the indictment said.
The defendants’ companies were called Consumer Financial Services, Consumer Credit Repair and Client Financial Services.
Kaur and Singh used a call center in India where employees contacted customers using aliases.
The men instructed customers to make monthly payments of $500 or more, but they never contacted creditors on behalf of customers. Instead, the defendants sent fake letters from creditors indicating loan modifications had been approved.
Kaur and Singh used the money from customers for their own benefit and wired a portion of the funds to an individual in Kolkata, India.
“The work of our mortgage fraud task force is increasingly geared towards prosecuting those whose victims are homeowners,” Wagner said. “Fraudsters who prey on distressed homeowners and other indebted consumers will be targeted for prosecution.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Fresno Police Department investigated the case, Wagner said.