Mortgage Relief Scheme Had Bogus Lawyers, Hawaii Says
By Purna Nemani Courthouse News (excerpt)
Hawaii's attorney general wants to enjoin four people he says are practicing law illegally and operating a fraudulent mortgage-relief scheme in the state.
The state sued Common Law Office of America in Oahu First Circuit Court, along with four of its agents - Anthony Williams, Mary Jean Castillo, Hep Yanez Guinn, and Kenneth Marvin Byrd.
(Note: Williams has been arrested and is being held for extradition to Georgia to face child molestation charges. Hearing Sept 18, 2013.)
"The defendants have been operating CLOA as an ersatz law firm which serves as a vehicle for their illicit mortgage relief scheme in the state of Hawai'i," according to the complaint.
An internet search for Common Law Office of America gives a result for a national company with various U.S. offices, three of which are in Hawaii (Honolulu, Hilo and Kauai. No phone numbers are listed, however, for any of the Hawaii offices.
On its website, CLOA advertises "Mortgage Reduction, Foreclosure Assistance, Document Writing, Will Preparation, Estate Planning, UCC Filings, Consulting, Power of Attorney, Travel ID ... and much more."
CLOA's Hawaii office is located in Honolulu's commercial Waterfront Plaza complex, an area locals know as Restaurant Row.
The state says CLOA, Williams and Castillo hold themselves out to Hawaii consumers as "private attorneys general" on their web site www.usacommonlaw.com.
"Defendant CLOA's website is rife with dangerous consumer misrepresentations, and absurd legal advice, such as : ' ...[W]hat most people don't realize nor understand is that the attorney at law works for the BAR (British Accreditation Regency) therefore they are foreign agents of the foreign court system to extort money from the American people under the disguise of an American legal system,'" according to the complaint.
The state adds that "all of the defendants have entered appearances of record purporting to be attorneys for various clients in numerous courts in Hawaii."
Williams in particular claimed to be an attorney in various cases in the Hawaii Circuit Courts for Judges Rhonda Nishimura, Bert Ayabe and Elizabeth Strance, according to the complaint.
In Federal Court, Williams has allegedly misrepresented himself as an attorney before U.S. District Judges Susan Mollway, Michael Seabright and Kevin Chang.
Hawaii says as recently as September 2013, the defendants advertised themselves on their website as "distressed property consultants."
"STOP FORECLOSURE," the statement allegedly reads. "If you are in foreclosure, you need to call us NOW! Don't wait a second longer. No matter what stage you are in we are able to stop the process and negotiate a payment schedule that is affordable and fair. Let us help you save your home."...
Hawaii claims that the defendants not licensed attorneys yet purport to take power of attorney from distressed property owners and will continue to harm Hawaii consumers if they are not enjoined from the deceptive practice.
Deputy Attorney General C. Bryan Fitzgerald signed the complaint.
He seeks immediate and permanent injunctions, plus civil fines and restitution, for the deceptive trade practice.
LINK: Copy of Complaint
Hawaii AG: ACCUSED CHILD MOLESTER (Anthony T Williams) ARRESTED FOR EXTRADITION BACK TO GEORGIA