Alleged mortgage scam artist faces felony charges
December 22, 2010 - A 35-year-old Sterling Heights man who allegedly conned an Addison resident out of just under $16,000 as part of a home loan modification scam was bound over Monday to Oakland County Circuit Court.
|Haddad (click for larger version)|
Louay Adeeb Haddad (who also goes by the name Loui Joseph Haddad) is facing four counts of larceny by conversion from $1,000 to $20,000, which is a five-year felony.
He's also been charged with four alternate counts of obtaining money under false pretenses from $1,000 to $20,000, which is also a five-year felony.
Haddad is currently being lodged in the Oakland County Jail. Bond was set at $80,000 cash or surety, no 10 percent.
According to Oakland County Sheriff's Sgt. Robert Brudvig, commander of the Addison Township substation, Haddad allegedly preyed upon people looking to reduce their mortgage payments through modified loans.
The Addison resident who filed the complaint against him was making modified loan payments directly to Haddad's business.
Haddad's company went by many names including First Choice Loan Services, Wire Financial Home Retention Services and Save Your Home.
"He set it up where they would pay the money to him and then he would make the payments to their mortgage company," Brudvig said. "But he wasn't making the mortgage payments."
The Addison victim learned this the hard way when his mortgage company notified him that his home was going up for a sheriff's sale because no payments had been made, according to the sergeant.
Brudvig indicated that the victim "got something worked out" and his home did not go up for a sheriff's sale.
At least six other people living in other jurisdictions, ranging from Wayne and Macomb counties all the way to the Lansing area, have filed criminal complaints against Haddad, but Brudvig said it's likely there are many more victims out there.
"I'm assuming a lot more people have been defrauded, but not many want to come forward. They feel embarrassed that they got swindled," he said.
Brudvig indicated there were some warning signs that Haddad was allegedly scamming folks.
The first was that he would always meet them either at their homes or in parking lots. Haddad would never meet with anyone at his office, which apparently did not exist.
"The addresses that he was giving, there's no business there," Brudvig said.
Secondly, Haddad insisted on being paid with cashier checks or money orders.
In order to avoid being scammed, Brudvig advised people to ask to see a business license – something Haddad did not possess – and "double-check that the business is actually there" when given an address.
"If you're really concerned about a person, I know you can go through the state police website and for a fee, you can run a (background) check on somebody," he noted.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.