A Virginia Beach man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to running a fake mortgage-rescue business.
Howard R. Shmuckler owned and operated The Shmuckler Group (TSG), a Vienna, Va., mortgage-rescue business, authorities said.
Shmuckler misrepresented TSG, saying the company had a success rate of 97 percent and falsely portraying himself as a licensed attorney in Virginia, authorities said.
According to the company’s website, TSG had about 1,100 clients. TSG’s clients paid the company fees ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 for help modifying their mortgages, authorities said.
Court documents state Shmuckler told clients to stop interacting with their mortgage companies and to stop payments to their lenders. However, TSG never facilitated a modification of the mortgages referenced in the court documents.
Shumuckler pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for June 22.