FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: March 12, 2015
Three charged in $44 million loan modification scheme
Pictured above from left to right: Stephen Siringoringo, Joshua Cobb and Alfred Clausen
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Three defendants involved in a major loan modification fraud scheme that resulted in the alleged loss of over 44 million dollars by unsuspecting victims have been charged.
The complaint alleges 23 felony counts of Grand Theft of Personal Property and taking upfront fees for loan modifications in addition to 24 counts of Money Laundering.
On March 5, investigators from the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Unit of the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office arrested Stephen Lyster Siringoringo, 34, of Westminster, and 32-year-old Joshua Michael Cobb.
Both suspects allegedly took large sums of money from victims who were seeking loan modifications. A third suspect, Alfred Orn Clausen, 41, of Rancho Cucamonga, is still at large and is suspected of leaving the country.
According to District Attorney investigators, the name of the alleged criminal entity was identified as the Siringoringo Law Firm, which had zealously advertised on local radio and television. The law firm advertised extensively in Spanish language media.
Victims were promised that their loan modifications would be handled by a licensed attorney. Instead, they were handed off to a non-attorney representatives who would falsify numbers, collect upfront fees and monthly payments which is illegal under the law.
Siringoringo and Cobb are scheduled for a Pre-Preliminary Conference March 13, 2015. If convicted as charged, the defendants face in excess of thirty years in state prison. Bail is currently set at $17,837,000 each for Siringoringo and Cobb.
Deputy District Attorney Vance Welch will prosecute this case.
This is an ongoing investigation and no further details will be released at this time. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Unit at (909) 891-3519.