LANSING, MI – Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced that Anthony Carta, 53-years-old, of Detroit, has pleaded guilty to seven felonies associated with his formation of a faith-based mortgage assistance scam. The charges resulted from an investigation by Schuette’s Corporate Oversight Division.
“We have secured justice for the victims who believed they entrusted their money to a faith-based ministry designed to help them, while instead they were deceived by a criminal,” said Schuette, “We will hold sham organizations accountable for their criminal activities wherever they may be.”
Carta defrauded more than 100 victims out of thousands of dollars. His victims believed he was going to assist them with their mortgage through his company, Freedom By Faith Ministries (FBF). Carta instead pocketed the money and did nothing to assist the victims with their mortgages.
On March 9, 2015 in Pontiac’s 6th Circuit Court, Judge Michael Warren convicted Anthony Carta and FBF of the following seven charges filed by Schuette in Southfield’s 46th District Court on April 2, 2014:
- One count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a 20 year felony;
- One count of false pretenses $20,000 or more but less than $50,000, a fifteen year felony; and,
- Five counts of false pretenses $1,000 or more, but less than $20,000, five year felonies all.
Carta, acting as FBF’s resident agent, was ordered to pay $586,000 in restitution to its victims through the organization and Carta himself was ordered to pay $400,000 in victim restitution.
Carta will be sentenced by Judge Warren on April 2, 2015 in Pontiac’s 6th Circuit Court.
Citizens who believe they may have been victims of Anthony Carta’s Freedom By Faith Ministries mortgage assistance fraud are encouraged to file complaints with the Attorney General’s Office at www.michigan.gov/ag by clicking “File a Complaint.”
Schuette reminds Michigan homeowners that citizens do not need to pay to speak with their lender or servicer or to obtain outside assistance with foreclosure issues. Free local assistance with foreclosure issues can be found by calling the Michigan State Housing Development Authority at (866) 946-7432.
“I encourage homeowners with foreclosure concerns to contact free, state-certified housing counselors,” said Schuette. “You do not have to pay for assistance or to speak with your lender.”