Criminal Justice News

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Local Woman Sentenced in Credit Repair Scam Involving Approximately 80 Hawaiian Victims

ST. LOUIS, MO—Marien Brown was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $250,000 restitution for falsely representing that she operated a “mortgage rescue” or “foreclosure rescue” service.

According to court documents, Marien Brown, a/k/a Marien White, owned and operated both 1st Financial Resource LLC (First Financial) and 1st Federal Resource LLC (First Federal). She created and operated First Financial from September 2008 until March 2009, at which time the business became known as 1st Federal Resource LLC (First Federal). She registered the business as 1939 Wentzville Parkway, Suite 178 in Wentzville, Missouri, which is actually a UPS store that provides commercial mailbox services. She actually conducted the business from her residence on Ivy Brook Court in Wentzville.

Brown researched and identified groups of homeowners in the state of Hawaii that were one or more mortgage payments behind or were in imminent risk of home foreclosure and then targeted that group of vulnerable home owners and sent out a large number of unsolicited mailings to prospective clients representing that she operated a “mortgage rescue” or foreclosure rescue” service. More than 80 clients responded to her mailings and wired funds to First Financial and to First Federal. Marien Brown converted these funds to her own use. None of the client funds were ever sent to lenders.

Clients quickly realized that their funds had not been sent to their lenders and that no new mortgage rates had been negotiated. Clients then began to call their mortgage holders who, advised that they had no knowledge of, and no relationship with, First Federal or Marien Brown. Clients then attempted to reach Marien Brown and repeatedly left messages for her. The only way clients were able to get her to return calls was to leave a message expressing a desire to wire her additional funds. The losses as a result of her scheme are approximately $250,000.

Brown, 42, Wentzville, Missouri, pled guilty in September to three felony counts of wire fraud, and appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Rodney W. Sippel.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Howard J. Marcus handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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