Man accused of foreclosure fraud scheme

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Snellville man is behind bars for scheming to capitalize on the current mortgage meltdown by bilking cash from at-risk homeowners, police said.

Mike Brown is charged with multiple felony counts of theft by deception for holding himself out as CEO of a consulting company, promising clients he could secure government grants to Band-Aid their financial woes, officials said.

Arrested Thursday, Brown remains at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.

Throughout the month of October, Brown portrayed himself as the CEO of C.L.B. Consulting Services Inc., defrauding unsuspecting homeowners who are on the brink of losing their homes, said Gwinnett police spokesman David Schiralli.

How Brown allegedly recruited his victims remains unclear.

"At this time, I can't discuss how he came in contact with his victims," Schiralli said. "The case is still active."

An investigator found that Brown had talked each victim into handing over half their monthly mortgage payment up front; after that, Brown said he'd apply the cash to an account that divvies the grants, police said.

"(He) promised the victims that he would have the payments made to their account and there was no need to worry," Schiralli said. "(They) learned they were scammed when they called their mortgage company and found out that no payment was posted."

When each victim realized they'd been had, they attempted to call Brown, "but he had changed his phone number and disappeared," Schiralli said.

Police believe more victims could come forward in the case. Schiralli was unsure if Brown is employed by a legitimate consulting company or if he also concocted that part of this alleged yarn.

Police urge anyone who may have had similar dealings with Brown to call a lead investigator at 770-513-5300.