Minas Litos, 50, Saint John, Indiana; Adrian Tartareanu, 45, Saint John, Indiana; and Daniela Tartareanu, 44, Saint John, Indiana; were sentenced in federal court by Chief Judge Philip Simon for conspiracy and wire fraud.
Litos entered a plea of guilty to one count of conspiracy and sixteen counts of wire fraud and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. The Court will determine whether restitution should be imposed at a later date.
Adrian and Daniela Tartareanu were found guilty by a jury of one count of conspiracy and sixteen counts of wire fraud. Adrian Tartareanu was sentenced to 36 months imprisonment. His wife Daniela Tartareanu was sentenced to 21 months imprisonment.
Minas Litos and Adrian Tartareanu owned Red Brick Investment Properties. Daniela Tartareanu was the office manager. They participated in an illegal scheme in which they convinced others to buy homes in Gary, Indiana. To induce the individuals, the defendants told prospective buyers that they were not required to provide down payment funds, and that the rental income would cover the costs associated with owning rental property. They concealed from the lenders and title companies that they paid the down payment money on behalf of the buyers. They also paid kickbacks to the buyers. The scheme lasted two years and involved 45 fraudulent transactions. As a result, more than $2.5 million dollars was fraudulently obtained from the lenders with almost all the buyers subsequently defaulting on the loans. Many of the properties are now vacant or considered a total loss by the lenders.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, David Capp, and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Gary T. Bell and Jill Koster.