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Attorney General Todd Rokita announced two separate legal actions against defendants accused of trying to defraud financially distressed Hoosier homeowners.

In the first matter, Attorney General Rokita and his team are suing a St. Joseph County man and affiliated entities over allegations that they scammed a senior citizen out of the title to her home.

Under the guise of helping the woman avoid a tax sale, Steven Kollar and others allegedly sought multiple loans using the consumer’s home as collateral, receiving more than $100,000 in loan proceeds while paying nothing to the consumer, who was left homeless. Kollar allegedly carried out his scheme in part through companies with which he is affiliated, including American Realty Investments LLC.

In the second matter, Attorney General Rokita and his team are suing two individuals, Leland Baptist of Indianapolis and Silipa Tupuola of Brownsburg, over allegations they and their affiliated companies engaged in a foreclosure rescue scam in which they solicited consumers in financial distress under the promise of helping them to save their homes. In actuality, Defendant Baptist allegedly engaged in a scheme in which he obtained title to the properties and attempted to rent or re-sell them on contract to other victims.

In one transaction, Baptist allegedly obtained title to a property at 1130 North Bauman Street in Indianapolis from a financially distressed consumer and then “assigned” his rights to defendant Tupuola, who had no titled interest in the property. Tupuola then entered into an agreement to sell the property to an unsuspecting couple who paid him more than $30,000 before discovering from an attorney that they had been scammed. The companies through which Baptist allegedly operated such schemes include Lee-Chandler Enterprises LLC, Lee Chandler LLC, and 1130 N. Bauman Land Trust. Defendant Tupuola operated Blitz Investment Group LLC.

In each case, Attorney General Rokita and his team are seeking consumer restitution for the victims, civil penalties, and costs of the investigations to be assessed to the defendants.

Hoosiers are encouraged to contact the Office of the Indiana Attorney General about any suspected scams or scam attempts. Consumers can file a complaint by visiting indianaconsumer.com or calling 1-800-382-5516.

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