We’ve been waiting for vigilante justice to start against those who profited from the financial crisis, but it should have occurred to us that it would be the foot soldiers, not the kingpins, who’d be the prime targets.
From Reuters (hat tip reader John D):
As Los Angeles housing advocates launched a campaign warning of mortgage rescue scams, a couple hit by foreclosure are charged with torturing two loan-modification agents they suspected of fraud, authorities said on Monday.
The couple, Daniel Weston and Mary Ann Parmelee, and three other people are accused of luring their two victims to an office where the men were tied up, held for hours and beaten, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney said.
Police were called after one of the victims managed to escape, said the spokeswoman, Shiara Davila-Morales. The incident occurred on Wednesday in the town of Glendale, just north of Los Angeles.
Weston, Parmelee and the three other defendants each were charged with two counts of torture, two counts of false imprisonment by violence and two counts of second-degree robbery, according to a criminal complaint filed against them….
“The two allegedly sought loan modification assistance from the victims but believed that nothing was being done and wanted their money back,” a statement from the district attorney’s office said….
Weston and another man, who previously served time for assault, are accused of carrying out the beatings in front of their three co-defendants, who prosecutors say had prior business ties with the two victims by having funneled loan-modification referrals to them.
Now the real question is whether this couple had actually sought advice, or whether they thought they had been cheated on their referral fees, and got aggressive in their collection methods, and the claim that they were cheated clients is to attempt at a better sounding justification for their actions. Either way, it speaks to a sordid underground in the mortgage arena.