- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 29, 2015

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - Four employees of a San Bernardino County business have been sentenced to federal prison in connection with a loan modification scheme that defrauded some 4,000 homeowners out of more than $7 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 45-year-old Christopher George, a co-owner of 21st Century Legal Services in Rancho Cucamonga, received a 20-year sentence on Monday. He was also ordered to pay $7 million in restitution to homeowners, some of whom lost their houses in foreclosure.

Three other employees - Crystal Buck, Albert DiRoberto and Yadira Padilla - got between 4 and 5 year prison terms.

George, Buck and DiRoberto were found guilty in June on various fraud charges. Padilla pleaded guilty in 2013.

Prosecutors say 21st Century employees contacted distressed homeowners through cold calls, newspaper ads and mailings.

Six other employees are awaiting sentencing.

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