Moses Hall, a disbarred California attorney, was arrested in October 2016 on federal charges of running a mortgage modification scheme that defrauded more than 75 distressed homeowners in Orange County by inducing them to pay more than $1.4m for services he never provided. The October 2016 federal grand jury indictment charged Hall with a 16 counts, one count of mail fraud, 13 counts of wire fraud and two tax charges. The tax charges were for interfering with the administration of the tax laws. Hall allegedly failed to file tax returns from 2008-2012 and failed to report more than $1m in income. An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted of all 16 counts, Hall would face a maximum of 284 years in federal prison.
According to the 16 count indictment, Hall told distressed homeowners to stop making their mortgage payments and instead direct the monthly mortgage payments to him, purportedly so he could use the money to negotiate with the banks. Instead, as detailed in the indictment, Hall used the victims money for himself including withdrawing more than $1m in cash from bank accounts into which the victims’ payments had been deposited. Hall allegedly wrote checks to himself and his daughter and used $25,000 cash to purchase a Mercedes Benz.
As stated by US Attorney Eileen M.Decker: “The defendant allegedly used his position as a licensed attorney to persuade victims that he could help them with their financial problems. Instead of working for his clients, the defendant simply pocketed the money to fund an extravagant lifestyle. He has lost his license to practice law, and now faces a significant prison term for the alleged crimes.