Rajasekhar Marni, 47, Reston, Virginia, pled guilty yesterday in United States District Court to federal wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection with a real estate fraud scheme that took place in 2005 and 2006. Marni faces up to 30 years in federal prison, 3 years of supervised release, a fine of at least $500,000, and full restitution when he is sentenced by United States District Judge T.S. Ellis, III on October 31, 2008.
According to court documents, Marni was the president of Loanworth Corporation, Inc., a Vienna, Virginia real estate firm. He defrauded three sets of clients, resulting in a loss to those victims of approximately $1.14 million. In March 2006, Marni arranged to purchase a Fairfax Station, Virginia home for $889,000. The homeowners agreed to finance Marni’s purchase. Marni had the victims transfer title to him while he signed a deed of trust setting out the terms of the loan. Marni recorded with Fairfax County documentation transferring title to the property to him but never recorded the documentation related to the loan. Marni then sold the property to a third party and used the proceeds to, among other things, buy a house for himself in Vienna, Virginia.
As part of the plea, Marni admitted to also defrauding a Lorton, Virginia couple, whom he convinced in November 2005 to transfer title to their property to Loanworth for six months while he tried to sell the property to a third party. During that time, without the homeowners’ knowledge, Marni took out loans against the property totaling $227,778. He never repaid the loans, which subsequently went into default. In June 2006, title in the home, which Marni had not sold to a third party, was returned to the original owners. Less than four months later, one of Marni’s lenders foreclosed on the home, resulting in a loss of the victims’ equity in the property.
Marni also admitted to defrauding a Silver Spring, Maryland couple of $23,000 that was to be used as a down payment on an undeveloped parcel of land.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Timothy D. Belevetz is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.