MINNEAPOLIS - Kevin and Kris Brown of Hastings spent the morning in federal court when their 10 year old nightmare came to an end.
"It's about time. It's been a long time coming," said Kevin Brown.
A judge sentenced Jim Hoffman to more than six years in prison, his wife Teresa to a year, after investigators say they profited from an elaborate mortgage scheme that defrauded millions of dollars from unsuspecting people.
"It was a regular mortgage type deal, or so we thought," he said
Brown says Hoffman was their mortgage broker, essentially the middle man between his family and their lender. But instead of sending off the payments to the investor, Hoffman allegedly pocketed the cash.
"And they turn around and tell him to get us out of here because they're not paying," he recalled.
And that's exactly what happened. The Brown's were evicted, not just on any day, their wedding day.
"They were cleaning out the house. A moving truck showed up that morning. I mean bare to the walls cleaned out," he said.
They tell KARE 11, while they were saying their vows, Hoffman's people took everything, their clothes, their furniture, even their kids' piggy banks.
"Emptied them out," he said. "That's low."
The Browns, who share six children together, say it was heartbreaking.
"They have no compassion for children or the devastation they're doing to a family," said Kris Brown.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David Maclaughlin says Hoffman has been under investigation for many years.
Court documents allege the couple lived a lavish life style, living in a luxury home that was paid for by someone they defrauded. Instead of paying their taxes, documents allege they spent money on "cruises, country club fees, and boats" among other things.
Maclaughlin says these types of mortgage frauds are not as common as they were a few years back because there are many more restrictions in place. Even so, he says this case should send a clear message.
"If you're going to make a lot of money, do it honestly do it legitimately, not by telling lies," he said.
Hoffman's attorney declined to comment, only telling KARE 11 his client, "took responsibility" Thursday.
The Browns eventually got their stuff and their house back after months of legal battles, but they lost at least $100,000 in the process. And while the judge ordered the Hoffmans to pay restitution, the Browns don't expect to see any of that money.
That said, they're relieved justice was done.
"It's finally over," said Kevin Brown.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)