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Rockville Centre man pleads guilty in mortgage modification scam

A Nassau County man pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday to defrauding hundreds of struggling homeowners in an alleged $2.3 million mortgage modification scam.

Jonathan Lyons, 53, of Rockville Centre, faces up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy after admitting that he convinced homeowners in telemarketing calls to pay money upfront for consulting services that he knew would never be provided.

"I worked for this mortgage modification company as a salesperson . . . and took upfront fees without providing services in return for the fees," Lyons said. "I was part of this fraudulent process."

Lyons was one of seven men charged in 2013 with scamming over 500 homeowners across the country into paying fees based on false claims that their modification companies were affiliated with the government, and would guarantee lower mortgage payments or return of the fees.

Six of the defendants have pleaded guilty. U.S. District Judge George Daniels scheduled his sentencing for Jan. 7.

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