Guilty plea entered for Boca-based foreclosure scam

A Boca Raton resident pled guilty to federal charges related to a foreclosure rescue scheme he operated between 2008 and 2009.

Jason Vitulano, 39, confessed to committing mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the scam. He faces up to 20 years on each charge. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5 in West Palm Beach.

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Vitulano, who in 2010 was sentenced to more than five years in prison for mortgage fraud dating back to his stint as Boca Raton branch manager Top Dot Mortgage in 2006 and 2007, got more than 2,000 homeowners to pay upfront fees totaling $7 million to three companies, according to the Palm Beach Post. The companies operated as boiler room call centers with salespeople soliciting homeowners with promises of loan modification approvals to reduce mortgage payments and avert foreclosures.

Greg Lazarus, a Boca Raton-based business partner of Vitulano, committed suicide in 2009 after one of the companies was shut down by the Florida attorney general’s office. [Palm Beach Post]Eric Kalis