For release on January 22, 2015
 
CONTACT:
Charles Huang, Deputy District Attorney
Real Estate Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2636   CAMPBELL ATTORNEY CHARGED WITH HOME LOAN SCAM   wendell jones.jpg

A suspended Campbell attorney was charged this week with defrauding struggling homeowners by charging them thousands of dollars in up-front fees to save them from foreclosure.   Such pre-payments for loan modifications are illegal. According to the evidence, Wendell Jamon Jones did little or no work for the charged fee. At least one victim ended up losing their home.   Jones, 45, faces six counts of grand theft, a count of practicing law on a suspended license, and another related violation. If convicted, he faces more than seven years in custody.   His arraignment is February 4. Jones is out of custody after posting $70,000 bail.   “California law is intended to offer protection to those in dire financial straights and in danger of losing their homes,” said prosecutor Charles Huang. “The District Attorney’s Office will defend homeowners against those who would target their vulnerability for illegal profit.”   An investigation found that Jones, whose office is located at 910 E. Hamilton Ave. in Campbell, employed teams of unlicensed street agents to go into the homes of families facing foreclosure. The agents promised the victims that Jones could save their homes from foreclosure by performing a loan modification on their mortgages. Jones would then collect an illegal upfront fee – ranging from $3,000 to $4,500 - from the victims.   Santa Clara District Attorney’s fraud unit investigators have identified at least five victims who have complained they were defrauded by Jones. Investigators believe that Jones targeted Spanish-speaking Santa Clara County victims.   Jones was recently suspended by the California State Bar after he stipulated to taking upfront fees for promised loan modifications.     If anyone has any further information or was a victim of this scam, please contact District Attorney Investigator Melinda O’Neil, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (408) 792-2604.   ###

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