Crime and Punishment

Meet the real-life 'American Hustle' loan scammers

Massive loan scheme scams $26M from victims

The U.S. Attorney Eastern District of Pennsylvania office tells CNBC that Remington Financial Group's scam, operating out of Arizona and Pennsylvania, was nearly straight out of the film, "American Hustle."

Just like in the movie, victims paid upfront fees on the promises of loans they never received, according to the prosecutor. Eight individuals—one of whom was recently sentenced—ultimately were prosecuted in the swindle, which stretched from 2005 to 2011.

David Axelrod of the U.S. Attorney Eastern District of Pennsylvania said the scammers bilked $26 million from some 2,000 victims, seeking commercial financing.

Since the upfront fee was relatively low, most victims just gave up, except for one mom.

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