By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A New Hope (Bucks County), Pa. couple is now on trial in federal court in Philadelphia, charged with operating a scam that preyed on homeowners in financial trouble and facing foreclosure.

Federal prosecutor Nancy Rue has told the federal jury that Edward and Jacqueline McCusker allegedly preyed on people in trouble — people behind in their bills and their house payments, and in danger of losing their homes.

“The McCuskers promised that they would rescue these people,” Rue told the jury. “Instead, they used them to get millions of dollars through bank loans.  They took 600,000 dollars in equity out of the houses, and then they put these distressed people out on the street,” she said.

But the defense has painted a very different picture of the defendants and the victims, suggesting that at least some of the alleged victims are deadbeats, and that the McCuskers tried valiantly to try to keep them in their homes even at a financial loss to themselves.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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