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A ringleader of a massive Utah-based mortgage modification fraud has pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme that federal authorities said involved 10,000 victims nationwide who suffered losses of more than $33 million.
Chad Gettel, 41, Salt Lake City, agreed to a seven-year prison sentence for operating the loan modification scam through CC Brown Law LLC and other names.
Federal agents raided the businesses in Midvale and West Valley City in June of 2012. A federal grand jury indicted Gettel and five others in February of 2015 on 40 charges for a scheme that the U.S. Attorney's Office said took advantage of vulnerable homeowners trying to save their abodes from foreclosure.
In his plea agreement signed last week, Gettel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
He also pleaded guilty to two other counts in a separate criminal case filed in April alleging he participated in an illegal telemarketing operation while charges in the original case were pending.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball set sentencing for Aug. 3.
Gettel admitted he and other co-owners approved false statements and advertisements that solicited clients for the companies.
The falsehoods included claims that CC Brown was a national law firm that only accepted cases it could win and had a success rate of 90 percent or better. Gettel also admitted that refund guarantees were false.
Two other people associated with the operation Jeremiah Barrett and James Scott Creasey have pleaded guilty to conspiracy. They face possible sentences of up five years in prison.
An attorney who also participated in the scheme, John McCall, has a change of plea hearing set for next week. Charges remain pending against two other alleged participants, Noemi Lozano and Sheridan Black.