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Stephen J. Pfleger and Laura Day Rottenborn

2016 Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award | National Crime Victims’ Service Awards
Watch the tribute video

Stephen J. Pfleger and Laura Day Rottenborn | Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award
Roanoke, Virginia

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen J. Pfleger and Laura Day Rottenborn led the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia’s 4-year criminal investigation into SunTrust Mortgage, Inc., and its egregious operation of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAMP was a 2009 government program designed to help Americans suffering from serious financial hardships in the face of the nation’s economic and housing crisis. 

SunTrust’s gross misadministration of HAMP further harmed the very Americans it was supposed to help—inducing the loss of family homes, negative credit reporting, and severe emotional distress. The misrepresentations made by SunTrust from March 2009–December 2010 were preventable, persistent, and devastating to customers. SunTrust, through criminal behavior, turned a government program designed to help homeowners who were experiencing serious financial hardships into a program that made their desperate financial situations worse.

 The victims retold stories of their inability to obtain future credit as a result of SunTrust’s improper credit reporting and of incurring excessive capitalized interest on their existing loans. They also retold stories of severe emotional distress related to the fear of losing their home, lost marriages that did not hold up under such financial pressures, and for some, the actual loss of their family home. 

Attorneys Pfleger and Rottenborn’s work made it possible for victims to receive restitution and helped prevent other homeowners from becoming victims. Attorneys Pfleger and Rottenborn focused on restoring victims by designing an innovative restitution matrix to ensure prompt payments to victims. SunTrust agreed to pay up to $320 million to resolve the criminal investigation into its HAMP Program. Restitution of $274 million was made available to 32,385 victims, $16 million was paid to the government in part for law enforcement’s use in future mortgage fraud investigations, and $20 million was devoted to prevention efforts to provide financial counseling and other services for the victims. Up to an additional $48 million of residual money not collected by victims pursuant to the restitution program will be paid to the government in 2016 or 2017.

2016 National Crime Victims' Service Awards Tribute Video

Watch this video to learn more about Stephen J. Pfleger and Laura Day Rottenborn, 2016 recipient of the Crime Victims Financial Restoration Award.