LANSING, Mich. - Attorney General Bill Schuette announced today that the Attorney General's Corporate Oversight Division has charged 53-year-old Anthony Carta of Detroit with multiple crimes in connection to his alleged formation of a faith-based mortgage assistance scam.
Carta faces criminal charges for the alleged theft of more than $300,000 from more than 100 victims who believed Carta was going to assist them with their mortgage through his company, Freedom By Faith Ministries (FBF). Instead, Carta allegedly pocketed the money and did nothing to assist the victims with their mortgages. FBF never held regular faith-based gatherings, but only hosted a website that advertised Carta's books and mortgage assistance program.
"Using the guise of faith to trick innocent people into entrusting their money to a sham organization is deplorable," said Schuette. "My team is committed to partnering with law enforcement to bring down these scam artists wherever they operate."
In September of 2011, Carta hired Kelita Leflore to gain additional business in the Detroit area. Once Leflore sold a mortgage service, the proceeds and client file were turned over to Carta to negotiate. Leflore sold at least 100 mortgage modifications for FBF. Leflore discovered that Carta was not actually negotiating for clients because she contacted one of the victim's banks and learned that Carta never contacted the bank.
In addition, Carta allegedly promised Leflore he would assist with her own mortgage problems and she ended up losing her home because Carta never contacted her bank. At that point, Leflore contacted clients personally, advised them of the crime and encouraged victims to file complaints with the BBB and/or the Michigan Attorney General. Leflore filed a complaint with the Attorney General on December 8, 2012
Schuette has filed the following seven charges against Carta in Southfield's 46th District Court:
- One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a 20 year felony;
- One count of false pretenses $20,000 - $50,000, a fifteen year felony; and,
- Five counts of false pretenses $1,000 - $20,000, five year felonies all.
Carta was arrested on Wednesday and is expected to be arraigned Thursday in 46th District Court, located in Southfield.
Citizens who believe they may have been victims of Anthony Carta's alleged Freedom by Faith Ministries mortgage assistance fraud are encouraged to file complaints with the Attorney General's Office at www.michigan.gov/ag by clicking "File a Complaint."
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