St. Louis (KSDK) - A St. Louis woman has been sentenced for scamming more than 80 people in Hawaii.
Marien Brown was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution for falsely operating a "mortgage rescue" service.
Court documents state Brown, also known as Marien White, owned and operated 1st Financial Resource, LLC which became 1st Federal Resource, LLC in March 2009. The address registered for the business in Wentzville was actually a UPS store which provides commercial mailboxes. Brown actually conducted business from her Wentzville home.
Authorities say Brown, 42, researched and identified homeowners in Hawaii that were one or more mortgage payments behind, and were in risk of home foreclosure.
She then sent a large number of unsolicited letters to these homeowners in the mail claiming she operated a "mortgage rescue" or "foreclosure rescue" service.
Over 80 people responded to her, and wired funds to her at First Financial and First Federal.
Brown used that money for personal use and never sent any money to lenders.
The victims quickly realized their money had not been sent to their lenders and new mortgage rates were not negotiated. They began to call their mortgage holders who told them they did not have a relationship with First Federal or Marien Brown.
When clients tried to contact Brown she would not answer their calls. She only returned calls when clients left messages saying they wished to send her more money.
Brown collected $250,000 as a result of the scheme.
She pleaded guilty in September 2011 to three felony counts of wire fraud.