Straw Buyer Recruiter Pleads Guilty

Allison Tussey —  August 14, 2014 — 1 Comment

Wasseem Shamoun pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan for his role in a scheme wherein he and his co-conspirators purchased property then recruited straw buyers to submit fraudulent loan applications to lenders in exchange for a fee.

On July 16, 2013, a superseding indictment was unsealed charging Shamoun and six other individuals with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, multiple counts of bank fraud and other fraud charges relating to a mortgage loan scheme.

Court documents allege that from approximately January 2006 to December 2008, Shamoun and his co-defendants conspired to defraud lending institutions by obtaining mortgage loans using fraudulent information. Shamoun and others devised a scheme wherein they purchased property for approximately $5,000 to $40,000 per home, then recruited straw buyers to submit fraudulent loan applications for home mortgages in exchange for a fee.

According to documents submitted to the court, Shamoun assisted in executing the scheme by selling properties to straw buyers and was personally responsible for a loss of approximately $394,000.

For the conspiracy charge, Shamoun faces a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. U.S. District Judge Bernard A. Friedman scheduled sentencing for Shamoun on December 2, 2014.

The Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the guilty plea.

This case was investigated by the FBI, IRS—Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration, and is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Corey Smith and Trial Attorney Mark McDonald of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

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Allison Tussey

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One response to Straw Buyer Recruiter Pleads Guilty

  1. This company should have found legitimate buyers for the homes they purchased. Forms of fraud like this make obtaining credit more difficult for honest people attempting to obtain a mortgage loan.

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