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Posted at 7:18 AM ET, 06/22/2010

Final defendant guilty in Money Store fraud

By Mike McPhate
The scheme underwrote a lavish lifestyle for Jackson, whose wedding tab was $800,000. (Courtesy of Chris Duncan)

The final of 11 defendants in a mortgage scam that swindled people in danger of losing their homes out of millions of dollars has pleaded guilty, U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement Monday.

Rolando Cousins, 32, of Bowie, was a loan officer at the Metropolitan Money Store during a years-long scheme in which the Lanham-based business promised to help struggling homeowners. Metropolitan would direct clients to transfer title of their homes to third-party buyers for a year, during which the firm said it would borrow against the value of the home to help pay the mortgage and improve the homeowner’s credit.

Instead, prosecutors said, the company drained the homes of equity and imposed exorbitant transaction fees. Authorities have found 117 victims, but hundreds more have been identified in a related civil lawsuit.

For his role as a so-called straw buyer, Cousins was paid $10,000 in transactions on several properties in Maryland, prosecutors said. Authorities attributed to Cousins losses of more than $470,000.

The former president of Metropolitan, Joy Jackson, was sentenced in November to 12 years in prison, and a key accomplice, Jennifer McCall, got 11 years.

Earlier: Fairy tale unravels for woman at center of fraud probe

-- Mike McPhate

By Mike McPhate  | June 22, 2010; 7:18 AM ET
Categories:  Crime and Public Safety, Maryland  | Tags:  crime, maryland  
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I think the courts are far too lenient on these matters. 117 families lives ruined should warrant a life sentence. Send a message to all crooks that there will be a servere price to pay should you be caught and convicted of crimes as vile as this one.

Posted by: sickofit3 | June 22, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Just like gun violence in poor neighborhoods this is another case of black on black crime. Just look at the picture...Rolando is a minority. Its likely the majority of the scheme's victims were too.
Now can we please put away the whole racism argument for everything?

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | June 22, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Should have waited to announce once the terms were set. Folks want to know how much jail time

Posted by: kahlua87 | June 22, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Do people like Rolando and others who steal from their own brothers and sisters (BLACKS) walk on the street with smile on their faces. Saaad. Wished he would have gotten more jail time.

Posted by: camty | June 22, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

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