Attorney Stephen Siringoringo was disbarred and arrested March 5, a criminal complaint filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court accuses the attorney of felony grand theft and money laundering. Mr. Siringoringo has entered not guilty pleas to all the charges. Siringorongo, of Westminster, and two others- Alfred Clausen, and Joshua Cobb- allegedly collected upfront fees from distressed homeowners for loan modification services. All the victims were told their modifications would be handled by a licensed attorney, according to the complaint, but instead, all files were managed by non-attorney representatives who allegedly falsified numbers and violated state law by collecting upfront fees. According to the complaint, Attorney Stephen Siringoringo has been arrested in connection with a $44 million loan modification fraud scheme. The arrest of attorney Stephen Siringoringo, 34, of the Siringoringo Law Firm, and an alleged co-conspirator, Joshua Michael Cobb, 32, of Upland, was announced Thursday by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office. According to the criminal complaint filed in San Bernardino County Superior Court accuses the two of 24 felony counts of money laundering and 23 felony counts of grand theft for roles played to allegedly take large sums of money from victims who were seeking loan modifications. A third suspect in this felony and fraud case, Alfred O. Clausen, 41, of Rancho Cucamonga, was reported to be missing and is suspected of leaving the country, according to a news release by the prosecutor’s office.
Attorney Stephen Siringoringo and Cobb, who each remain in custody, with a bond set at $17.8 million has entered not guilty pleas to the charges, are scheduled for a court conference Friday. The Siringoringo Law Firm, based in Garden Grove, has several branch offices located in Rancho Cucamonga, Upland and Glendale, and advertised loan modification services extensively on English and Spanish-language radio and TV stations. California lawmakers outlawed the acceptance of upfront fees or payments for loan modification work in October 2009. Fees cannot be collected until mortgages are modified, according to state law. The San Bernardino County prosecutor’s office declined to discuss the case, saying the investigation is ongoing. The California State Bar, however, has indicated that more than 796 complaints have been filed in this case. Siringoringo was ordered to stop practicing law on July 26, 2013, by the California State Bar Court. In December 2013, the State Bar Court found Stephen Siringoringo illegally collecting advance loan modification fees in 20 client matters. Siringoringo admitted to 14 cases, and agreed to provide clients refunds of $1,500 to $5,970, the state court said. However, the State Bar’s Office of Chief Trial Counsel disclosed at that time that the state had 796 additional complaints filed against Siringoringo for alleged misconduct.