The operator of a home loan modification scam in Santa Clarita has been convicted of grand theft and white collar crime, according to the California Board of Equalization.

Carlo Hamrahi, 44, was sentenced last week to three years in state prison and ordered to pay $140,000 in restitution to victims.

Based on an investigation by the board’s Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force, Hamrahi worked under the alias Roberto Colleoni and operated the company Colleoni Enterprises. He “induced numerous unsuspecting homeowners to enter into home loan modifications, baiting them with promises of reducing their mortgage balances by 50 percent, lowering their interest rate by 2 percent and extending payment terms to 40 years in duration, all while providing a money-back guarantee,” according to the board.

Hamrahi collected upfront fees from homeowners, giving the appearance that the modifications were legitimate; he even forged deeds and opened escrow accounts. He sent them bogus “payoff” checks containing stolen identities, which were eventually returned by banks as fraudulent.

The investigation began after the Board of Equalization received bad checks totaling nearly $900,000 issued by Hamrahi.

No homeowners received legitimate home loan modifications from Hamrahi, according to the investigation.