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A California man recently pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud homeowners across the country and in Connecticut who were seeking mortgage loan modifications.

According to the trial, Aria Maleki of Santa Ana, California and others worked at a number of California companies that falsely advertised mortgage loan modifications and debt relief services in exchange for upfront fees. The alleged conspirators changed business names often and operated the scheme under the following entities:

  • First Choice Financial Group Inc.
  • First Choice Financial
  • First Choice Debt
  • Legal Modification Firm
  • National Freedom Group
  • Home Care Alliance Group
  • Home Protection Firm
  • Hardship Center
  • Network Solutions Center Inc.
  • Premiere Financial Center
  • Premiere Financial
  • Rescue Firm
  • International Research Group LLC
  • Hardship Solutions
  • American Loan Center
  • Loan Retention Firm
  • Clear Vision Financial
  • Green Tree Financial Group
  • Green Tree Financial
  • Enigma Fund Inc.
  • National Aid Group
  • Southern Chapman Group LLC
  • Save Point Financial
  • Best Rate Financial Solutions
  • Best Rate Financial Solution
  • Best Rate Financial
  • Best Rate Finance Group
  • Nation Star Financial
  • Nation Star Fin Group


The defendants charged fees ranging from $2,500 to $4,300 and falsely told homeowners they had been preapproved for a loan, would receive financial assistance under numerous government mortgage relief programs and would receive a full refund of their fees if any of the loan modifications fell through. Few homeowners received any assistance or refunds.

Maleki was the alleged ringleader of the scheme, which caused more than 1,000 homeowners to lose over $3 million.

On Jan. 21, Maleki and six other California residents were charged with conspiracy and fraud offenses related to this scheme. The defendants were arrested on Jan. 26.

Maleki pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and faces up to 20 years in prison. He also has agreed to pay approximately $3 million in restitution. He is scheduled for sentencing on June 14.

Maleki also has agreed to forfeit approximately $350,000 that investigators seized from various bank accounts, approximately $362,000 sized from a Bitcoin account, a $100,000 cashier’s check and a 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia.

Leader Of Mortgage Modification Scheme Pleads Guilty

by The Commercial Record time to read: 1 min