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North Lauderdale man in $7 million scheme to defraud troubled homeowners pleads guilty

Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor, 40, faces decades in prison

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DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. – They told homeowners who were in foreclosure that they had been approved for loan modifications, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. But they were lying. And their lies would earn them $7 million, records show.

It was Jason Vitulano's idea. His employees told desperate homeowners that for a fee their mortgage payments and interest would be reduced, and a team of "expert attorneys" would finalize loan modifications. But it was all a fraud.

FHA All Day.com, Inc., Housing Assistance Law Center, Inc. and Safety Financial Corp., operated boiler rooms in Boca Raton and later in Deerfield Beach from 2008 to 2009.

Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor, 40, of North Lauderdale, was the team manager. He directed sales staff, including telemarketers to make thousands of phone calls to homeowners, who were behind on their mortgage payments, prosecutors said.

To keep up with their lies, authorities said the group moved its offices and changed the corporate name several times to avoid law enforcement scrutiny and to hamper consumer complaints.  

They all eventually got caught. Taylor was charged with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dave Lee Brannon and faces up to 20 years in prison for each count and fines of up to $250,000.

Vitulano is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 5 in West Palm Beach.  U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra sentenced other eight defendants in the scheme to prison terms ranging from 24 months to 72 months.