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Detroit Racketeer Sentenced in Ponzi-type Mortgage Scheme
May 17, 2019
LANSING - Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Freedom by Faith Ministries Owner Anthony Norman Carta, 57, of Detroit, was sentenced Wednesday in Oakland County 6th Circuit Court by Judge Michael Warren as a habitual offender to nine to 40 years in prison for his role in a racketeering scheme that robbed more than 100 victims of nearly $660,000.
Carta’s maximum sentence is double the maximum sentence typically permitted for each offense because he is a habitual offender. His sentence includes:
- Nine to 40 years in prison for Count One – Conducting a Criminal Enterprise;
- Nine to 30 years in prison for Count Two – False Pretenses of $20,000 or more but less than $50,000; and
- Five to 10 years in prison for Counts Three through Seven – False Pretenses of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.
Carta’s sentences will run concurrently. He has received credit for 1,530 days served and has been ordered to pay restitution of $658,626.17.
From November 2009 to July 2013, Carta and Freedom by Faith Ministries employed a Ponzi-type scheme promising short sales, mortgage modifications and other real estate scams. Individuals who sought his assistance in resolving mortgage problems were defrauded of amounts ranging between $1,000 and $24,000. Carta pocketed the money and did nothing to help his customers with their financial troubles.
The Michigan Attorney General’s Office launched its investigation in 2013 and subsequently filed charges against Carta in 2014 following a series of complaints made to its office. Carta pleaded no contest in April 2019 to the charges.
“Protecting our residents from those who seek to perpetrate fraud against them is a top priority for me and for the Department,” Nessel said. “This sentencing should send a clear message to those who engage in this conduct: Our office will hold you accountable.”