The owner of a group of Long Island loan modification companies pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that he falsely promised help for a fee to more than a thousand financially stressed homeowners, authorities said.
Little or no work was ever done, and the scheme caused more than $3.5 million in losses, authorities said.
David Gotterup, 36, of Oceanside, faces up to 30 years in prison, as well as restitution, criminal forfeiture and a fine after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud before United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
The plea was announced by Robert L. Capers, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, as well as officials from the FBI, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
According to a release from Capers’ office, Gotterup and co-conspirators made a series of false promises to convince homeowners to pay them in advance for help with government mortgage modification programs, telling them, falsely, that they were preapproved.
Operating from 2008 to 2012 through six blandly named companies like Express Modifications and Express Home Solutions, many of them based in West Hempstead, Gotterup ordered telemarketers and salespeople to tell victims they were retaining a law firm who would complete their modification applications and negotiate with banks to modify loan terms.
According to the FBI, Gotterup was arrested in 2015 in connection with that scheme and another in which he used superstorm Sandy relief funds to pay for personal expenses, including what the bureau described as “wedding-related expenses” in Cancun, Mexico.
Gotterup remains incarcerated. A sentencing date was not available Wednesday night.