Final defendant guilty in Money Store fraud
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.
-- Mike McPhate
| June 22, 2010; 7:18 AM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Maryland | Tags: crime, maryland
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