Numerous participants in an expansive mortgage fraud scheme were sentenced to prison on Monday, October 27, 2014, and Tuesday, October 28, 2014, by Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III. The defendants were involved in a conspiracy to defraud numerous banks and lenders using straw buyers resulting in mortgage loan disbursements exceeding $20 million, $5 million in loan proceeds, and losses exceeding $1 million.
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Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 65, was sentenced to seven years in state prison for conspiring with three other family members to commit over $16 million in real estate fraud by forging documents and purchasing homes using straw buyers.
Grant McCollough, 38, Kearney, Nebraska, a real estate investor and owner of Tycoon Investments, and his wife, Marisa McCollough, 36, pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders and impede the Internal Revenue Service.
Chaval Williams, 53, Centennial, Colorado, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William J. Martinez to serve 74 months in federal prison for wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering federal authorities for devising a scheme to defraud real estate lenders, particularly by fraudulently securing real estate financing for the purchase of properties, typically through the use of nominee home buyers.
Nancy Wolf-Fels, 57, Toms River, New Jersey; Dwayne Onque, 46, Belleville, New Jersey; and Mashon Onque, 43, East Orange, New Jersey, were convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to defraud financial institutions as part of a $15 million mortgage fraud scam that used phony documents and straw buyers to make illegal profits on overbuilt condos.
Kurosh Mehr, 53, Charlotte, North Carolina, was convicted by a federal jury for his role in a $75 million racketeering conspiracy. According to trial evidence, Mehr was a promoter and buyer in the enterprise’s mortgage fraud operations.
An indictment was filed charging six people, including a couple and their daughter, in a wide-reaching mortgage fraud conspiracy in which the defendants allegedly stripped the equity from the homes of desperate homeowners facing foreclosure. The scheme caused losses to mortgage lenders of approximately $3.8 million.
Domenico “Dom” Rabuffo, 78, Miami, Florida, was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge K. Michael Moore for his role as a leader and organizer of a $49.6 million bank fraud and wire scheme, perpetrated from approximately 2003 through 2008.
Julie Dianne Farmer, 46, Bakersfield, California, was sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to three years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for her involvement in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme that ran from January 2004 to September 2007.
Kathryn Sylvester, San Diego, California, was sentenced to 41 months in custody for operating a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that caused over $6 million in losses on various properties in San Diego and Orange Counties, California. Sylvester promised straw buyers that she would flip a number of the properties for a quick profit. Instead, she systematically drained equity from the properties for her own benefit.