PONTIAC, Mich. (Christian Examiner) -- A Michigan man who used a fake faith-based mortgage program to scam about 100 individuals out of more than $300,000 was sentenced to prison Friday, April 3 after pleading guilty to fraud last month.
Anthony Carta, 53, doing business as Freedom by Faith, faces 30 to 99 years of jail time for defrauding homeowners who were trying to avoid foreclosure from 2009 to 2013, according to The Detroit News.
Attorney General Bill Schuette said Carta used a website to advertise his books and program but did not hold "regular faith-based gatherings" and or provide mortgage modification services he promised, MLive.com reported. Carta instead pocketed money while some victims lost their homes.
A salesperson Carta hired reported him to the Attorney General's office after it became clear he was not providing the services advertised. The salesmen had enlisted Carta to modify her own mortgage, but instead lost her home.
Friday, Carta, was ordered to pay $400,000 in restitution. Freedom by Faith Ministries, was ordered to pay an additional $674,001 in restitution.
"Anthony Carta scammed his friends and neighbors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars under the guise of faith," Attorney General Bill Schuette announced. "While we can never undo the damage done to these victims, we have secured them justice and can make sure they're never victimized by Anthony Carta again."
Carta was arrested in relation to the scam in April 2014. Last month he was convicted of seven felony charges, including conducting a criminal enterprise.
Though the Freedom by Faith Ministries website is no longer active, Carta's LinkedIn profile is still active and claims a decade of experience in successfully helping 501 (c)3 organizations attain "favorable Letters of Determination." There is no mention of mortgage assistance services.