May 1, 2014
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today announced Kenneth Sandoval, 36, of Dearborn, of Nationwide Consulting was sentenced to up to 20 years in prison after securing his conviction on one count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise, a felony punishable by 20 years in prison, and two counts of Larceny by Conversion, $20,000 or more, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Sandoval defrauded approximately 84 victims out of $914,151. Schuette is seeking full restitution for the victims of Sandoval's racketeering scheme.
"Anyone trying to defraud vulnerable families already struggling to make ends meet must face the full consequences of their actions," said Schuette. "Scammers take note: we will continue to aggressively pursue lawbreakers and secure justice for hardworking Michigan homeowners."
One of Sandoval's victims, a Detroit mother of three children said at Sandoval's sentencing today, "We trusted [Sandoval] and after he took our money, he made fun of us. He even used scripture to deceive us."
Sandoval was today sentenced to serve 48 months to 20 years in prison on Racketeering charges and 24 months to 10 years in prison for two counts of Larceny by Conversion Over $20,000 before Judge David Groner in the Wayne County Circuit Court. His sentences are to be served concurrently.
Sandoval was arrested by Schuette in December 2013 and charged with one count of Conducting a Criminal Enterprise and two counts of Larceny by Conversion, $20,000 or more. Sandoval was convicted by Judge Groner in Wayne County's 3rd Circuit Court on January 19, 2014 after pleading guilty to the charges brought by Schuette.
Judge Groner said at Sandoval's sentencing, "This is egregious case, you preyed on these people. You are a con man on a grand scale. This case shocks the conscience."
Background on Sandoval and Nationwide Consulting
Kenneth Sandoval owned and operated Nationwide Consulting Group, LLC, and ran a debt settlement and mortgage modification scheme. Sandoval formed Nationwide in 2008, collecting money upfront from victims, targeting Southeast Michigan Hispanic families. The families Sandoval targeted largely lacked proficiency in English. After several months, Sandoval would deposit the victims' money saying a settlement on one or more of their loans had been reached. Sandoval then would instruct the victims to send him a certain sum of money to pay off the loan per the settlement.
After receiving the funds from his victims, Sandoval would deposit the money into his personal bank account. Sandoval and his wife spent the money on personal expenses. In one month alone, the Sandovals spent $80,000 on themselves.
Sandoval's co-defendant and employee, Zach Ortiz, 41, of Taylor, pleaded guilty to one count of Conducting a Continuing Criminal Enterprise, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, on April 11, 2014 before Judge Margaret VanHouten in Wayne County's Circuit Court. Ortiz recruited clients for Sandoval and Nationwide. Ortiz is next due in court for sentencing on May 13, 2014.