Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.

September 1, 2000 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

Failure to Make Payments Caused Victims to Lose Homes, Suffer Foreclosure

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Alton Perkins, 49, formerly of the 7400 block of Smallwood Drive in Oxon Hill, Maryland, entered a plea of nolo contendere to 11 counts of Fraudulent Misappropriation by a Fiduciary in the Circuit Court for Prince George's County. A plea of nolo contendere is neither an admission nor a conviction. The Honorable Steven I. Platt accepted the plea and sentenced Perkins to 10 years' incarceration, suspended that sentence and placed him on probation for three years. The conditions of the first year of that probation will require Perkins to remain at home at all times other than hours of employment. Perkins was also ordered to pay court costs and the costs of his own probation monitoring and supervision. The state had recommended he receive 18 months incarceration.

According to the statement of facts entered into the record, Perkins had acted as a mortgage broker or agent for individuals who had credit problems but who wanted to purchase a house. He was not in fact a licensed mortgage broker. Perkins arranged for the individuals to assume the mortgage payments on an existing house. The individuals would give the mortgage payments to Perkins, who was then supposed to make the payments to the mortgagee. Perkins promised the individuals that he would assist them in obtaining a mortgage after they had proven that they could make a mortgage payment for several years. These transaction were arranged without the knowledge of the mortgagee.

Investigation revealed, however, that while Perkins often initially made the monthly payments to the mortgagee, he eventually would fail to do so. This resulted in the individual, as well as the original mortgagor, losing the house when there was a default on the loan. Many of the original mortgagors (homeowners) were military personnel who had been unable to sell their homes and wanted someone to assume their mortgage payments while they were stationed overseas.