Construction Company Owner Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud

Allison Tussey —  November 1, 2011 — Leave a comment

Talal Ashek, 42, Holland, Arizona, was sentenced to two years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake and ordered to pay over $2.9 million in restitution for his role in a mortgage fraud conspiracy.

Ashek had previously pleaded guilty on August 4, 2011, to one count of conspiracy to submit false claims to a lending institution for his role in a mortgage fraud conspiracy.

Ashek owned and operated Phillips Luxury Homes, L.L.C., an Arizona construction firm.  Ashek‘s company specialized in building multi-million dollar luxury homes in areas such as Paradise Valley and Fountain Hills, Ariz.  Between 2006 and 2007, Ashek solicited investors to obtain loans from banks that were to be used to purchase a lot by the investor and to pay Ashek to construct a luxury home on the lot. Ashek and the investor agreed that they would share the profits after the luxury home was completed and sold. The majority, if not all, of the investors solicited by Ashek were financially unqualified to obtain the multi-million-dollar loans needed for the lot purchase and home construction.

Ashek fraudulently assisted the investors to qualify for the loans by depositing, or causing the deposit, of monetary funds into the investors’ bank accounts. After the investor received Ashek‘s deposit, they then signed loan applications which falsely represented that they owned a significant amount of monetary assets. After the loan applications were submitted to the bank, the investor returned the money to Ashek.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Raymond K. Woo, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

“This prosecution is an example of this office’s pursuit of mortgage fraud perpetrators who have caused millions of dollars of loss to our banks and our communities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel. “This defendant was a real estate industry insider who used his knowledge to engage in mortgage fraud. I am grateful for the FBI’s work in this investigation and in its continued efforts to investigate all types of mortgage fraud.”

“Homeowners in Arizona have been significantly impacted by all facets of mortgage fraud in the last few years,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge James L. Turgal, Jr. “Mortgage fraud remains a top criminal priority of the FBI and our Mortgage Fraud Task Force is committed to investigating and exposing those individuals who intentionally defraud consumers and the mortgage industry.”

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Allison Tussey

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