Two South Florida Residents Sentenced to Over 5 Years for Conspiring to Commit Wire Fraud
Joseph Hilton, a/k/a Joseph Yurkin, a/k/a Joseph Starr, 57, of Lake Worth, and Adam Forman, 48, of Coconut Creek, were sentenced today to 63 months imprisonment for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The court also ordered Hilton to pay $1.4 million in restitution, and ordered forfeiture in the amount of $1.4 million and $600,000 against Hilton and Forman, respectively.
Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Brian Swain, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service (USSS), and Tony Pustizzi, Chief, Coral Springs Police Department, made the announcement.
According to the allegations contained in the Information, from in or about September 2013, and continuing through in or around August 2016, Hilton and Forman operated a series of businesses purporting to be law firms, legal referral firms, or providers of support services to law firms (collectively, the “Foreclosure Firms”). Mortgage holders were contacted by the defendants and falsely told that the Foreclosure Firms could provide legal assistance with mortgage modifications and foreclosure defense.
The defendants represented, inter alia, that (i) the Foreclosure Firms were law firms comprised of licensed attorneys, (ii) the attorneys were experienced and highly skilled at halting the foreclosure process and enabling mortgage holders to stay in their homes, and (iii) the attorneys could reduce the principal and monthly payments on the mortgage holder’s loan.
Moreover, in order to disguise the Foreclosure Firms as law firms with licensed attorneys, Hilton and Forman hired attorneys for limited purposes, such as document review, without advising them of the false and fraudulent statements being made to the mortgage holders. Employees of the Foreclosure Firms created letters and legal pleadings using the attorneys’ names without the attorneys’ review, knowledge or consent. The total loss amount is approximately $2,000,000.
Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of USSS and the Coral Springs Police Department. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert Juman.