The owners of a foreclosure rescue program that promised borrowers they would cancel their mortgages for a fee and offered new, lower-priced, loans were arrested Friday following a federal investigation.
The California-based company, KATN Trust, allegedly short for “Kicking Ass, Taking Names”, was operated by Tamara Teresa Tikal, 43, Alan David Tikal, 45, and Ray Jan Kornfeld, 57, according to a statement from the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
More than 1,000 struggling borrowers in multiple states were targeted by the trust. An estimated $3.4 million in initial fees and “loan” payments from homeowners were collected by the trio.
While not connected, the alleged scam sounds similar to programs pitched in South Florida by a handful of land trusts shut down in the last year by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
KATN told homeowners their new loan would only be for 25 percent of the original principal balance, according to law enforcement.
On Wednesday, a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Alan David Tikal adding charges for him and charging his wife, Tamara, and Kornfeld, who allegedly continued the scam while he was in custody awaiting trial.
The indictment was unsealed after the arrests on Thursday. Christy Romero, special inspector general for TARP, said the “smugness” of the alleged scam is reflected in the name of the trust.
“As the foreclosure crisis continues, we are seeing a rise in scams that target struggling homeowners,” said California Attorney General Harris. “These predators rob innocent families of their life savings and their piece of the American dream.”
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