Two California men are facing conspiracy and money laundering charges for allegedly scamming dozens of consumers of their credit consolidation payments.
Sharanjit Kaur, 36, and Baljit Singh, 47, collected more than $400,000 from clients who thought the men were using the money to pay down renegotiated debts, according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner's office. Wagner said the two men kept the money and wired some to another man in India.
The men ran Consumer Financial Services, Consumer Credit Repair and Client Financial Services between July 2010 and June 2011, according to the indictment. They found clients by using a call center in India.
The indictment alleged that after luring customers into using these purported services, Kaur, Singh and their agents instructed customers to send in monthly payments of $500 or more. Even though they collected regular payments from customers, the defendants did not contact creditors on behalf of customers, it claimed.
"Nor were customers informed that the defendants were not in fact providing the promised debt renegotiation services. To mislead customers as to the status of their debts, the defendants sent fake letters from creditors indicating that the customers' loan modifications had been approved," it said.
Kaur and Singh could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.
The men face sentencing of up to 20 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $500,000 each.