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Man pleads guilty in mortgage audit scam

5/2/2013

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A California man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge stemming from a mortgage audit scam that authorities say bilked consumers out of more than $400,000.

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A California man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge stemming from a mortgage audit scam that authorities say bilked consumers out of more than $400,000.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/11Yt3TW ) that 30-year-old Derek Thomas Doherty, of Irvine, Calif., owned and ran Home Safe Financial. He offered homeowners in Missouri and elsewhere an audit for $3,000 and a free loan modification. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins said in court that Doherty never completed an audit.

Doherty started the business in St. Louis, moved to Overland Park in May 2010 and then merged with a California company in July of that year.

Collins says consumers lost more than $400,000 to the scheme.

Doherty could face 15 to 21 months in prison on the felony mail fraud charge.