Why anyone would ever trust a “money store” with their house is beyond me. But the Metropolitan Money Store, based in Lanham, was actually a real business, and brought in millions promising homeowners with foreclosure assistance.

I first heard of the company when writing a story about a foreclosure rescue scam on Capitol Hill. The alleged perps in my story were small-timers in comparison to the managers of the Metropolitan Money Store. But they had the same idea.

Here’s what the business’s founder Joy Jackson‘s typical scam involved (according to the Washington Post):

The company directed owners to transfer title of their homes to third-party buyers for a year. During that time, Metropolitan said it would borrow against the value of the home and use that money to pay the mortgage and repair homeowners’ credit ratings. It also promised to help owners obtain better interest rates.

Instead, Metropolitan siphoned off the equity and Jackson and others spent the cash. The company also stopped making mortgage payments on the houses.

During her personal boom-time, Jackson pulled stunts ofHarriette Walters-like proportions, using “the cash to buy jewelry, fur coats and vacations, and to cover a lavish wedding at the Mayflower Hotel, where Patti LaBelle serenaded guests who feasted on lobster and drank Cristal,” as the Post detailed.

But yesterday, that lifestyle officially became a thing of the past when Jackson was sentenced to 12 years in prison for her part in the scandal. Jackson apparently “wept during a long apology” to her victims during the hearing. But the real drama with the case that day belonged to one of her accomplices,  Jennifer McCall, who was scheduled to also receive her sentence. McCall had recently fired all her lawyers, and when the prosecutor suggested that she be jailed (since she wasn’t going to be sentenced that day),  one of her relatives punched the lawyer in the courtroom! according to the Post’s account.

http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/Public-Affairs/press_releases/press08/CEOofMetropolitanMoneyStorePleadsGuiltyinMortgageFraudScheme.html

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