CHICAGO (CBS) — A man is suspected of stealing millions of dollars from vulnerable people in Chicago in a reverse mortgage scam.
As CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar reported Thursday night, a new lawsuit seeks to reverse the damage Mark Diamond is accused of doing.
Barbara Herron’s mother had dementia and was approached about making repairs to the home she owned.
Not only did the work never get done, but Herron claims Diamond and a team of schemers swindled her mother, Effie Herron, into signing a reverse mortgage.
In 2013, Effie died. Soon after, her daughter told CBS 2 in 2017, she started getting letters that $180,000 was owed to Diamond’s business, Reverse Mortgage Solutions.
The Rev. Robin Hood’s late aunt signed a reverse mortgage for $110,000 despite owning her home for years. It caused more damage than there was at the beginning of the renovation.
“This was a good Christmas for her grandchildren and her great grandchildren to hear that this lawsuit had taken place,” Hood said.
A new civil lawsuit filed by Northwestern University’s Bluhm Legal Clinic represents more than 45 victims.
“Mark Diamond and his co-schemers targeted elderly Black homeowners, on primarily the West Side of Chicago,” said Juliet Sorensen – a clinical law professor at the Northwestern University School of Law.
Sorensen and her team are trying to void the reverse mortgages taken out because they were procured through fraud. The complaint also names the lenders.
“In every sense of the word, these were vulnerable victims who were all-too-easily exploited,” Sorensen said.
The new civil complaint is on top of the federal charges Diamond already faces accusing him of defrauding 120 homeowners in the reverse mortgage scheme. He is accused of pocketing millions.
“It was a reverse mortgage and it was laced with fraud from beginning to end,” Hood said.
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