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Long IslandCrime

Officials: Nassau man pleads guilty in loan modification scam

A Nassau man who pleaded guilty in a loan modification scam was sentenced Monday in federal court to 57 months in prison for bilking at least 26 borrowers, the U.S. attorney's office in New Jersey said.

Jeffrey Halpern, 63, of Hewlett had pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and was also sentenced in U.S. District Court in Trenton to 3 years of supervised release.

As the operator of JCK Marketing, Halpern cheated at least 26 homeowners out of more than $400,000 between 2009 and 2016 by charging fees to better their loan terms, when in reality he did little or nothing, authorities said. At least one victim lived in New Jersey.

His attorney, Mitchell Elman of Garden City, indicated Halpern may appeal. "We disagree with the sentence of the court," Elman said, "and we are evaluating all of Mr. Halpern's appellate options."

Prosecutors said Halpern pocketed the funds and repeatedly demanded money for “bank fees” from his victims, even though their lenders did not charge loan modification fees, prosecutors said.

The investigation was led by the U.S. attorney's office and the FBI, with help from New York State Department of Financial Services and the Nassau County district attorney's office.

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