A 31-year-old Costa Mesa woman could be sentenced to federal prison today for running a foreclosure rescue fraud scheme that targeted homeowners with bogus promises of mortgage relief.
Najia Jalan faces between two and six years behind bars following her July guilty plea in Los Angeles to mail fraud and aggravated identity theft charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Jalan — who is not a licensed attorney — used company names such as the National Legal Help Center, United National Mortgage Protection Center, OC NonProfit, American Consumer Law Center to trick victims into paying her substantial fees for fake services, prosecutors said.
Jalan used various aliases to attract struggling homeowners by deceptively promising foreclosure relief or mortgage modifications to make consumers’ payments substantially more affordable, court papers show.
She promised to obtain results within a certain period of time, charging homeowners unlawful advance fees, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 and in some cases more than $10,000, prosecutors said.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued Jalan and a co-defendant in 2012 in connection with the National Legal Help Center, which falsely claimed that they would provide legal representation for consumers even though the defendants were not attorneys and consumers received no actual legal representation, according to the agency.