The Crime Scene - To Serve and Inform

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 11/30/2010

Mortgage loan scheme charges for Va. man

By Ruben Castaneda
Ruben Castaneda

A Prince George's County grand jury has charged a Virginia Beach man with swindling 10 people out of about $40,000 in a loan modification scheme.

Howard Shmuckler, 67, is charged with 10 counts of theft over $500, conspiracy to commit theft, and 10 violations of operating a credit business without a license, State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said.

At a news conference outside the Upper Marlboro courthouse, Ivey said Shmuckler preyed on people who desperately wanted to lower their mortgage payments to keep their homes.

"This is a case about an effort to steal the American Dream from hard-working families," Ivey said. Shmuckler's victims did not obtain the loan relief they were seeking, and some lost their homes, officials said.

Efforts to reach Shmuckler were unsuccessful. Three phone numbers listed in his name or the name of his business are no longer in service. Officials said they did not know whether Shmuckler had an attorney.

Shmuckler was released after an initial court appearance.

Ivey was joined at the news conference by Christy Moreno, chief of staff for the Office of Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), and Mark Kaufman, commissioner of financial regulation for the state of Maryland.

Officials said Shmuckler targeted Hispanic homeowners, in part through ads on Spanish-language radio. Shmuckler claimed he would negotiate lower mortgage payments -- in exchange for thousands of dollars up-front, officials said.

It is illegal in Maryland to charge an up-front fee to a delinquent homeowner for a loan modification, Kaufman said.

Shmuckler's business shut down in the fall of 2009, a few months after state officials obtained an administrative "cease and desist" order against him, Kaufman said.

Prince George's County has been the scene of a number of mortgage scams in recent years.

By Ruben Castaneda  | November 30, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse, Pr. George's, Ruben Castaneda, Virginia  | Tags:  Prince George's crime  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C. man guilty of deadly baby beating
Next: Police ID girl found in D.C. dumpster

Comments

why would anyone trust a man whose last name is Shmuckler?

Posted by: MarilynManson | November 30, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse


All roads lead to PG.

Posted by: polecatx1 | November 30, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company