Plea negotiations are ongoing for a Tyrone Township man charged in an alleged mortgage foreclosure scam that affected a number of Michigan residents.

54-year-old Lawrence Adell Sefa, who is facing a total of 30 charges, appeared in Livingston County Circuit Court Friday for a pretrial hearing. In case negotiations a number of points are considered, including the defendant’s criminal history, the severity of the crime and the likelihood of conviction at trial.

A plea agreement could not be reached at Sefa’s hearing, which led to a request from his attorney, Joshua West, that a trial date be set. His request was followed by a request for adjournment by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, who is prosecuting the case. Their request was granted. Sefa returns to court March 2nd.

Sefa is charged with 15 felonies, including conducting a criminal enterprise and false pretenses, and 15 counts of Credit Services Protection Act violations, which is a misdemeanor. He is said to have stolen tens of thousands of dollars from Michigan residents facing mortgage foreclosures in a scam he operated through his company.

An investigation was launched after multiple complaints were made regarding Sefa and his company, LAS Loan Assistance Centers. Clients claim Sefa and LAS took money from them up front for mortgage assistance and/or debt settlement, but never provided the promised services. Sefa and LAS allegedly guaranteed specific outcomes, such as lower monthly mortgage payments, which is impossible to do. Sefa is also accused of withholding his clients’ personal financial documents when asked to return them. (DK)