Wayland, who is scheduled to be sentenced June 11, faces up to 11 years in prison. He also faces a violation of probation charge in a similar case in Montgomery County and a variety of charges in Northern Virginia.
Patricia Duckett, a Prince George’s County public school aide, said Wayland stole nearly $8,000 from her over the course of about two years and ultimately led her to lose her home. The Post wrote about the case in 2019.
Duckett, 66, explained in court that Wayland, whom she met through a friend, promised to secure a loan modification to lower the monthly mortgage payments on her home in District Heights. He told her to stop making her mortgage payments and started picking up her mail, repeatedly telling her that he was taking care of talking with the mortgage companies.
“He said, ‘I got this.’ That is why I continued to give him money,” Duckett said on the witness stand. “I did everything I was asked to do. I didn’t know anything. And I am sorry that I didn’t.”
Wayland stopped returning Duckett’s calls, though, when she began receiving foreclosure notices and questioning him about whether something was amiss. Duckett, whose daughter and granddaughter were living with her at the time, was soon evicted from her home of two decades.
After linking up with a pro bono lawyer, she learned that Wayland had been banned by regulators since 2014 from providing mortgage assistance in Maryland and was on probation after pleading guilty in 2018 to eight mortgage assistance relief violations in Montgomery County.
Three other alleged victims, two from Prince George’s County and one from Montgomery County, testified during the trial that Wayland promised them loan modifications on their houses that he never delivered.
It has been illegal since 2010 to take upfront payments for mortgage services in the United States.
Wala Blegay, Duckett’s pro bono attorney, alerted the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office to the case. She said she was struck by the similarities in the stories that Wayland’s former clients told; at least five people who did not testify have contacted her about his alleged misconduct.
“We are going to have to be vigilant in our community,” Blegay said, noting that Prince George’s residents were hit especially hard by the housing crisis that followed the 2008 recession. “When you are in a state of need, you need to be very vigilant about who is offering services.”
State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy (D) said in a statement that financial crimes, particularly those targeting the elderly, are a concern for her office. She commended Duckett for “bravely testifying and fighting back in this case despite losing her home.”
Duckett is now living with her son. On Mother’s Day, her daughter was killed in a car crash in Clinton that also injured Duckett’s granddaughter. Duckett and her son left court in Upper Marlboro on Wednesday to visit the teenager in a hospital.
Blegay said she is not sure whether the family will be able to seek restitution from Wayland, whose own house was foreclosed on in 2019.