Two Fresno Men Indicted On Fraud Charges In Debt Relief And Credit Repair Scam

Two men from Fresno, California were recently arrested on charges of fraud related to a debt relief and credit repair scam. In a 46-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury on May 31, Sharanjit Kaur, 36, and Baljit Singh, 47, were charged with conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and international money laundering.

According to a press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California, the indictment alleges that “between July 2010 and June 2011, Kaur and Singh owned and operated several companies based in Fresno [] for the sole purpose of defrauding hundreds of customers throughout the United States. Kaur and Singh touted to potential customers that their businesses, Consumer Financial Services, Consumer Credit Repair, and Client Financial Services, could provide debt consolidation services. They also falsely promised that 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 low-interest ones, and correct errors in credit reports. Kaur and Singh used a call center in India whose employees would call customers using aliases such as ‘Neil McKenzie’ or ‘Anthony Jones.’”

The indictment further alleges that while Kaur and Singh lured customers into sending monthly payments of $500 or more, customers’ creditors were not contacted, nor were the customers informed that the promised debt relief and credit repair services were not being performed. Kaur and Singh are instead alleged to have sent fake letters purporting to be from creditors informing customers that loan modifications had been approved. When customers began calling the companies run by Kaur and Singh to inquire about past-due notices and default letters they had received from their actual creditors, they would get hung up on or would be asked to continue making service payments.

Kaur and Singh received over $400,000 in payments from customers drawn in to the alleged scam. The indictment alleges that the money was used by Kaur and Singh for the own benefit, with portions of the funds wired to an individual in Kolkata, India.

“The work of our mortgage fraud task force is increasingly geared towards prosecuting those whose victims are homeowners,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagne. “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.

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