Authorities Say Suspects Swindled Victims For 1 Year Before Banks Took Action

LYNDHURST, N.J. (CBSNewYork) —  Authorities in Bergen County announced the arrest Monday of three men accused of fraud.

Adan R. Cueva, 31, the owner of Time Consulting & Associates in Lyndhurst, is accused of being involved in a scheme to defraud homeowners who hired the company to modify their existing mortgages.

Also accused and arrested in the scheme were Cueva’s 57-year-old father Adan L. Cueva and 26-year-old brother Angel C. Cueva-Castro.

The White Collar Crimes Unit of the prosecutor’s office investigated the alleged scheme after getting information from the Lyndhurst Police Department.

Authorities said the investigation revealed Adan R. Cueva, who is a former mortgage loan professional, had victims sign contracts with his company and promised to reduce their mortgage payments and lower their interest rates to 2 percent.

Time Consulting allegedly charged a fee between $3,500 and $5,000.  Typically, authorities said, Adan R. Cueva would require $1,500 down and spread out the balance in increments of $500 each month.

The prosecutor’s office said that after victims had signed up and paid the upfront fee to the company, Adan R. Cueva required them to fill out information statements that included detailed personal information.

Alleged victims were then told to stop making mortgage payments to their mortgage lenders and instead make those monthly payments to Time Consulting & Associates. Victims were told the company would then forward the payments to the respective banks and negotiate lower monthly payments on their behalf, authorities said.

Authorities, however, said Cueva never forwarded those payments to the banks, which resulted in banks placing the loans in default. Cueva then allegedly told the individuals to provide the banks with the phone number of his company as their contact number.

Victims were also told to forward all correspondence from their banks to Cueva’s company, the prosecutor’s office said.

Authorities said their investigation revealed that employees of Cueva’s company, including his brother Cueva-Castro, impersonated the victims when banks called to stall any “adverse bank action while Time Consulting & Associates continued to collect mortgage payments from the victims,” according to a release from the prosecutor’s office.

Cueva’s father, Adan L. Cueva, was responsible for collecting the payments in cash at the homes and businesses of victims, authorities said.

Meanwhile, Adan R. Cueva allegedly instructed his employees to use the victims’ personal information to open credit card accounts using the Time Consulting & Associates address.  The credit cards were for Cueva’s personal use, authorities said.

To make matters worse, when the alleged victims complained about their homes being placed in default, they were told by Cueva that they had been approved by the banks for a trial period of lower mortgage payments then given fraudulent letters from their banks, according to the prosecutor’s office.

Authorities said Cueva continued to collect the money for his personal use for over a year before the banks foreclosed on the victims’ homes.

Adan R. Cueva has been charged with crimes including theft by deception, trafficking in personal identifying information and failure to make required disposition of property received.

Cueva’s brother, Cueva-Castro, was charged with trafficking in personal identifying information among other charges. Cueva’s father, Adan L. Cueva, was charged with theft by deception, trafficking in personal identifying information and conspiracy to commit theft by deception.

All three men were remanded to the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.

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