Harris Poulikidis, 62, pleaded guilty in a federal court participated in a bank fraud scheme that forced several low-income homeowners into bankruptcy by saddling them with excessive amounts of debt they were unable to pay.
Poulikidis admitted that he caused a homeowner to obtain a $61,500 loan from Fremont Investment and Loan to refinance a mortgage and to provide approximately $19,350 in home improvements by Poulikidis' company, Roofing & Siding Plus. On the same day, Poulikidis caused the homeowner to obtain a second mortgage, a $9,000 loan from his company. The second mortgage was later sold to another financial company.
Poulikidis convinced six low-income homeowners that their new payments under the re-financing would be equal to or less than what they were previously paying. But the truth was very different, after the refinancing, the low-income homeowners' monthly mortgage payments increased so much that they were forced to file bankruptcy.
Many homeowners who are facing foreclosure are desperate to refinance in the hope that they can avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy. But unfortunately they are often targeted by scam artists who use their foreclosure crisis to profit and ultimately force the homeowner to file bankruptcy anyway.
Poulikidis, is facing up to 10 years in a federal prison without the possibility of parole and a fine that could reach $250,000. Plus, he may be forced to pay restitution to the homeowners he defrauded and forced into bankruptcy. However, as we have seen with other cases, the amount of restitution paid by these criminals can barely cover the true losses caused by these types of scams. Homeowners who lose their homes due to callous scams rarely receive true justice. But fortunately for the six homeowners duped by Poulikidis, bankruptcy will allow them to get a fresh financial start.