Elderly residents may lose home of 50 years after falling victim to reverse mortgage scam

CHICAGO — The story is all too familiar: homeowner Kerwin Cockrell said in 2014 a knock on the door of his West Humboldt Park home was followed by promises of a free home repair program. 

“Young lady came out with a flyer, asking people if they needed work done on the house, you didn’t have to have no money; just call that number and talk to Mark, Mark Diamond,” Cockrell said.

It’s a scam Diamond had been running for years: preying on elderly, black homeowners with promises of a free home repair program that in reality was a reverse mortgage. 

Kerwin Cockrell and his brother Bruce eventually agreed to sign up to get work done on their home in 2014. 

“He started working on the house, putting a new roof on the house and after that you couldn’t find him, you call him and he wouldn’t show up,” Cockrell said.

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Man exploited elderly woman by posing as contractor

Officers say he got more than $36,000 from the woman.

HAINES CITY, Fla. — Haines City police are searching for a Davenport man who they say exploited an 85-year-old woman out of more than $36,000 over the course of several months. 

Aber Anibal Rolon, 46, is charged with scheming to defraud in the amount of more than $20,000, exploitation of the elderly and presenting himself as a contractor without a license. Police say Rolon sent the woman six different bills totaling $36,440 between July and September for contract work done illegally and incorrectly on her home. 

In June, Rolon gave the woman a business card for “A Servant’s Hand” which said he was licensed to do multiple contracting services, including electrical, roofing, plumbing and flooring. Police say the woman, who has mobility, hearing and visual impairments, was looking to make flooring and roofing repairs before selling her Haines City home. 

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