SAN JOSE, Calif.- A 46-year-old San Jose man, already convicted twice before for running financial scams, was arraigned this morning on a felony fraud charge for trying to run a debt reduction service.
According to the Santa Clara County deputy district attorney, Robert Childs had the debtors pay him a big fee up front. Childs was arrested last week when investigators discovered Childs pitching his "Debt Defense" to a crowd in a Campbell community center. Childs promised to help homeowners remove their existing debt, but required a payment of 15% of the homeowners existing debt to sign up for the service.
In addition to the new charges filed, Childs is still on probation from his 2011 felony conviction. If convicted of the new charges and violation of probation, Child faces up to seven years in jail.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said it has a zero-tolerance policy against individuals who prey on consumers by charging exorbitant fees, with little to no possibility of actually helping the victims.
In August 2011, Childs was convicted of a felony for running a mortgage fraud scheme in which he took advanced fees from homeowners on the promise of eliminating their debt and saving their home from foreclosure.