Credit Repair: Connecting the Dots

Consider the consequences of not making background checks before engaging a financial adviser.

There's also the North Carolina lawsuit awaiting class certification, filed by lawyer Chris Livingston — an attorney whom the Network once referred clients to, but who came to believe that the Network and its contractors were ripping off the people they purported to help.

Plus it might have been a blow to Lock's confidence when he unsuccessfully defended an accountant named Todd Ellis Swanson before the South Carolina State Board of Accountancy in 2005. The Board stripped Swanson of his license for his involvement in a mortgage scam, where a pair of San Francisco-area guys operating as the "Dorean Group" applied the vapor money theory to mortgages. Swanson signed off on hundreds of bogus mortgage payoffs. (The judge in that case against the two masterminds — who eventually went to prison — opined that "Greater bad faith would be hard to imagine").

The Board stated that "opinion letters embracing the theory that serves as a basis for the scheme could lead to 750+ individuals losing their homes to foreclosure, and potentially many more if the respondent is allowed to continue the practice of accountancy."

Todd Ellis Swanson apparently hoped to avoid any fallout from the Dorean Group scheme by changing his name to Todd-Ellis;Swanson. When we called him at the North Carolina accountancy firm where he (unbelievably) works, we asked him if he still spelled his name with a semicolon. He told us to spell it however we wanted. We totally prefer the semicolon.

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