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$15 Million Fraud by Virginia Lawyer; Pleads Guilty in Court But Defrauded Homeowners face Financial Distress

$15 Million Fraud by Virginia Lawyer; Pleads Guilty in Court But Defrauded Homeowners face Financial Distress

A Virginia man is set to be sentenced after admitting his involvement in a scheme that targeted numerous homeowners facing financial difficulties.

Terrylle Blackstone, a 36-year-old resident of Woodbridge, entered a guilty plea on Friday. Blackstone, along with other parties, made a commitment to assist homeowners nationwide in avoiding foreclosure by providing non-existent legal services.

Instead, Blackstone and other parties profited from the funds, totaling $15 million.

Blackstone has admitted guilt to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with the scheme. His sentencing date has been set for October 3rd.

According to authorities, Blackstone has confessed to collaborating with individuals from different states in a scheme that lasted for over three years.

The group assured homeowners that they were a reputable national law firm located in the District. They offered to carefully examine the homeowner’s file and offer them expert legal representation. They mentioned that a local attorney would be assigned to provide assistance and that the homeowner would have the opportunity to meet and consult with this attorney. Furthermore, the lawyers at their law firm are available to assist the homeowner with filing for bankruptcy, if necessary.

Blackstone also acknowledged that between 2016 and 2019, he and his colleagues promoted Synergy Law through various forms of advertising, including telephone, television, and internet, offering assistance to homeowners in avoiding foreclosure through the attorneys at Maresca and Marinelli’s Synergy Law in Manassas.

In early 2019, Marinelli was incarcerated in Pennsylvania. However, Blackstone, Maresca, Marinelli, and other individuals persisted in running Synergy and receiving regular payments, supposedly for legal services. At that time, no lawyer affiliated with Synergy was able to practice law. Synergy did not involve attorneys in the review of homeowner files or in contacting a client’s lender to discuss a mortgage resolution.

Blackstone acknowledged that, starting in 2019 and continuing until at least 2022, he and his colleagues promoted Themis Law through advertisements that claimed homeowners could receive assistance in avoiding foreclosure from attorneys associated with the firm.

Themis ran a call center at a location in Manassas, Virginia. During their phone calls with homeowners, call center workers utilized scripts that included false promises. Homeowners were led to believe that an attorney would review their case file and that a legal team would reach out to their lender to negotiate a resolution. However, these promises were never fulfilled.

Themis implemented a payment structure that involved an initial retainer fee, followed by a monthly recurring payment for the duration of their representation of the homeowner.

Themis Law failed to deliver legal services to their clients as per WUSA9 News.

When Themis clients were on the brink of losing their homes, Themis provided guidance to these clients, suggesting they explore the option of filing for bankruptcy as a means to protect their property. Themis also referred these clients to Babbs at Babbs Law Firm. Those clients proceeded to sign a fresh retainer agreement and made additional payments to Babbs.

While working at Synergy Law and Themis Law, Blackstone received a total of $163,199.30 in direct payments from the companies.

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