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Danville man to be sentenced on conspiracy charges

A Danville businessman who had worked to renovate dilapidated Antioch buildings pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges as part of a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s office, court records show.

Anthony Keslinke, 47, was arrested in February 2014 and ultimately charged with 12 counts of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy, all stemming from a period between February 2011 and March 2014, during which time prosecutors say Keslinke falsified documents to “short sell” his own East Bay properties at a profit, and accepted a total of $550,000 from an undercover federal agent posing as a drug dealer, court records show.

Xue Heu, 38, Modesto, California, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,166,366 in restitution, for investment fraud schemes in Fresno, California and Texas. Continue Reading…

Jerome Whittington, 65, La Quinta, California; Patricia Torres Zavala, 42, Benicia, California; and, Kathleen Moore, 68, Olympia, Washington have been charged by a federal grand jury for their roles in a variety of fraudulent schemes, including one involving short sales, that victimized at least 20 investors and caused losses of more than $2 million.

The three defendants were charged in a superseding indictment filed on July 8, 2015. The 24-count indictment alleges that they lied to investors in a series of schemes, and then used investor money for personal expenses rather than investing the funds as promised.

Whittington is also charged in a separate case with posing as a former federal prosecutor in a case involving a former DEA agent.  Continue Reading…

Tamara Tikal, 45, Rio Vista, California was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison for her conviction for conspiring to commit mail fraud in relation to a foreclosure rescue scheme. Tamara Tikal was also ordered to pay $3,671,000 in restitution to victims of the offense by United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley.

Tamara Tikal’s husband Alan Tikal was convicted following a bench trial and sentenced to 24 years in prison. Tamara Tikal pleaded guilty to the conspiracy in August 2014, as did co-defendant Ray Kornfeld, who was sentenced to five years in prison.  Continue Reading…

Mohamed Daoud, 50, a Norwegian businessman, has pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of a complex scheme to steal real property. According to his plea agreement, between July 2012 and February 2013, Daoud helped to launder some of the millions of dollars in proceeds generated by a group of confederates who posed as the real owners of Southern California homes in order to “sell” the properties to unsuspecting buyers—who later learned that they had actually purchased nothing. Immediately after each sale, Daoud admitted, the confederates would disburse the money, ensuring that the funds vanished and the buyers could not recover their stolen money. Continue Reading…

John Shiells, Real Estate Investor,  Danville, California, and Miguel De Sanz, Real Estate Investor, San Francisco, California each pleaded guilty to three counts of bid rigging and three counts of mail fraud in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in Oakland, California. Both were charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Northern District of California on Nov. 19, 2014 in connection with their role in bid-rigging conspiracies and mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California. Continue Reading…

Kelly Gearhart, 54, a former real estate developer in California’s Central Coast, who previously lived in Atascadero, California and currently resides in Wadsworth, Ohio, was sentenced to 168 months in federal prison for his conviction on fraud and money laundering charges after bilking investors who put millions of dollars into Central Coast real estate projects.  Gearhart was remanded into custody at the close of the sentencing hearing.

Gearhart, who was named Atascadero’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2006, pleaded guilty last year to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. When he pleaded guilty, Gearhart admitted that he knowingly and intentionally made misrepresentations and omissions relating to his Vista Del Hombre real estate development project to induce victims to part with their money. Gearhart admitted that he sold lots that were part of the Vista Del Hombre project in Paso Robles, even though those lots were being used to secure others’ loans. Gearhart admitted that he then used those same lots to obtain bank loans. Continue Reading…

Ramin Rad “Ray” Yeganeh, real estate investor, San Mateo, California was indicted by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in Oakland and charged with bid rigging and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with public foreclosure auctions. Continue Reading…

A federal grand jury returned a 15-count indictment against seven individuals, charging them with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and bank fraud, mail fraud and aiding and abetting, and making false statements to a bank in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Jyoteshna Karan, 43, Modesto, California; Praveen Singh, 36, Modesto, California; and Mahendra Prasad, 53, Fremont, California, were arrested June 26, 2015 at their homes. The remaining defendants each received a summons to appear for arraignment: Phul Singh, 79, Modesto, California; Sunita Singh, 60, Modesto, California, Nani Isaac, 69, Ceres, California; and Martin Bahrami, 42, Turlock, California. Continue Reading…

Akbar Bhamani, 61, Carmichael, California, the head of a Sacramento, California, real estate investment firm, has been sentenced to 48 months in prison for duping investors by promising that deeds of trust would be secured on properties in which the investor would be in no worse than second or third position and that the indebtedness on the property would never exceed 70 percent of the value of the property.

Continue Reading…