An ex-lawyer in Irvine, Calif., has been arrested on charges of defrauding more than 400 victims in a $1.25 million loan modification scam targeting struggling homeowners.

According to the Orange County, Calif., district attorney’s office, Christopher Lee Diener, 42, along with two business partners, defrauded homeowners by promising loan modification services in exchange for advance payments. The trio allegedly told customers that they would guarantee their loan modifications, negotiate lower rates with lenders, reduce the principal on their mortgages and have lenders forgive second mortgages or late fees.

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