St. Louis, MO (KMOX) - 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, Brown, 42, Wentzville, Mo., also known as Marien White, owned and operated 1st Financial Resource, LLC, (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 at a UPS store which provides commercial mailbox services at 1939 Wentzville Parkway, Suite 178,Wentzville, Mo. However, she conducted the business from her residence on Ivy Brook Court in Wentzville, Mo.
Brown researched and identified groups of vulnerable homeowners in Hawaii that were one or more mortgage payments behind, or were in imminent risk of home foreclosure, and sent out a large number of unsolicited mailings to prospective clients claiming that she operated a “mortgage rescue” or foreclosure rescue” service. More than eighty clients responded to her mailings and wired funds to First Federal. 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 Brown. Clients then attempted to reach Brown and repeatedly left messages for her. Clients were unable to reach Brown unless they left a message expressing a desire to wire her additional funds. Her scheme resulted in losses of approximately $250,000.
Brown 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.