Hundreds of people may have been victimized by a debt consolidation scheme that targeted Hispanics throughout Central California, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Thursday in announcing the arrest of a Fowler woman.
Rosa Gonzalez, 40, who operated Fresno Financial, was booked into the Fresno County Jail on a $753,000 bond in a case the chief called "absolutely disturbing."
"Nothing upsets our investigators more than when people are taken advantage of in our community," Dyer said, "especially people that are already going through some very difficult economic times." Police have said that Gonzalez generated fees in excess of $110,000 through the operation and the figure may be as high as $400,000.
Gonzalez, who was out on bail after being arrested in July in Porterville on a similar case, was arrested Thursday morning at her home on the 6400 block of South McCall Avenue on 43 counts of felony grand theft.
She is accused of advertising that she could reduce credit debt by 50 percent by referring victims to the Cardell Group of San Diego after she received a $670 fee. The Cardell Group is not licensed for such business in California; debts were seldom consolidated and fees were excessive and unlawful, Dyer said.
One family lost their home and two other families are unable to buy a home because their credit rating has been destroyed, he added.
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