A Lyndhurst businessman and family members have been criminally charged in an alleged scheme to defraud homeowners.
In a statement released April 8, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli announced the arrest of Adan R. Cueva, 31, along with his brother Angel C. Cueva-Castro, 26, and his father, Adan L. Cueva, 57, all of Lyndhurst, in connection with the plot to cheat homeowners.
The prosecutor’s office said it teamed with Lyndhurst Police to develop information that Adan R. Cueva, the owner of Time Consulting & Associates, a former mortgage loan professional, persuaded homeowners to contract with his company to modify their mortgage agreements with the expectation of reducing their payments and lowering their interest rates to 2%.
Investigators said the Time Consulting boss charged a fee of between $3,500 and $5,000, typically taking a $1,500 down payment and spreading out the balance in $500 monthly installments.
Once the clients signed contracts with Time Consulting and paid the down payment, they were asked to provide detailed personal identity information and to immediately stop making monthly mortgage payments to their lenders and, instead, to make those payments to Time Consulting, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Investigators said Adan R. Cueva assured those clients that his company would forward those payments to the banks and that he would negotiate on their behalf for lower monthly fees, but, in fact, Cueva failed to do so, causing the banks to place the loans in default.
Clients were told to give the banks Time Consulting’s phone number as their contact and to forward all correspondence from the banks to Time Consulting, investigators said.
When the banks called to warn of pending defaults, Time Consulting employees, including Angel C. Cueva- Castro, impersonated clients and continued to collect mortgage payments from the clients, investigators said.
At the same time, investigators said, Adan R. Cueva instructed his employees to use the clients’ personal information to open credit card accounts using the Time Consulting address and those credit cards “were for Adan R. Cueva’s personal use.”
When clients complained to the Time Consulting boss that their homes were being placed in default, Adan R. Cueva assured them that they’d been approved by their banks for a trial period of lower mortgage payments and gave them fraudulent letters purporting to be from those banks supporting his premise, investigators said.
In some cases, investigators said, Cueva continued to collect the monthly payments for more than a year before the banks foreclosed on the homes.
All three defendants were arrested on April 4: Adan R. Cueva was arrested at his home; Cueva-Castro and Adan L. Cueva were apprehended outside the offices of Time Consulting.
Adan R. Cueva and Cueva- Castro were each charged with theft by deception, trafficking in personal identifying information, failure to make required disposition of property received, impersonating another, and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Adan R. Cueva was additionally charged with misconduct of a corporate official.
Authorities listed Adan R. Cueva as Time Consulting’s “mortgage modification specialist” and Cueva-Castro as “account manager.”
Adan L. Cueva was charged with theft by deception, trafficking in personal identifying information and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. He was listed as “driver/collections” for Time Consulting.
All three defendants were listed as having been working at Time Consulting for four years. Adan R. Cueva’s position was listed as “mortgage modification specialist.”
Each of the defendants was ordered held at Bergen County Jail, Hackensack, in lieu of $500,000 bail with no 10% cash option, pending prosecution.
Molinelli credited members of his office’s White Collar Crimes Unit led by Chief Steven Cucciniello and the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office under Chief John Speirs with helping break the case.
– Ron Leir