Man accused of using religion for a mortgage scam

He promised to help homeowners desperately trying to avoid foreclosure, but after taking their money, he did nothing to save their homes. Now a 53-year-old man is accused of using religion to lure victims in a mortgage scam.

"There is a special place in hell for what he's done," said scam victim Terry Strother.

From her rented home in Van Buren Township, Terry Strother-Dixon explains how she got here.

"I'm a life-long Detroiter. Now I am here, not where I want to be and not owning my own home," said Strother-Dixon.

How someone she trusted took all her money.

"Everything seemed legit. He scammed some of the most business-minded, intelligent people that there are.  I am not alone," Strother-Dixon said.

The person responsible is 53-year-old Anthony Carta. He just pleaded guilty to seven felonies. According to the attorney general Carta scammed thousands of dollars from more than 100 people through his business, "Freedom by Faith Mortgage Assistance." Terry was one of his victims.

For more than 20 years this house in Detroit was her home.  When Terry fell on hard times after the loss of her husband, her neighbor offered support. That neighbor just happens to be Anthony Carta who then stole $67,000 from her.

Strother-Dixon said "my sons shoveled his snow.  When he was sick I cooked for him.  His dog diesel.  I mean, come on neighbors."

Carta said his business was helping people out with mortgages. He even made online ads about it.

Commercial: "The most important investment that people have made is there home. I'm anthony Carta from Freedom by Faith Ministries."

He promised her as a lawyer he could cut through the red tape of a sheriff's sale, for just a $90 fee. So she paid the $67,000 to buy her house. Then in March of 2014, an eviction notice came.

"Hold on, how can I be evicted if I was redeeming my house from Sheriff's sale," said Strother-Dixon. "He never redeemed my home from sheriff sale."

The attorney general says he would use other ways to get victims, using religion.

"Freedom by Faith could actually be used to fill other needs in the community," said Anthony Carta.

"People of faith tend to want to do business with faith-based organizations," said Strother-Dixon.

For the 100 victims, Carta was ordered by the court to pay $986,000 and could spend 60 years in prison. In an act of Karma, Terry says Carta's home next to her old house in Detroit was foreclosed. Tuesday evening we watched as people loaded up trucks full of his belongings. They had nothing to say for his actions.

"I'd like to see all of us made whole financially and I'd like to see him serve the maximum sentences consecutively not concurrently that way he can't do this to anyone else," said Strother-Dixon.

The attorney general says to avoid becoming a victim 

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