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Sultana Siddiqui, a/k/a Sultana Ahmad, 56, North Potomac, Maryland, was sentenced to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud arising from an investment fraud scheme.

Siddiqui was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang who also entered an order requiring Siddiqui to forfeit $405,000, and pay restitution of $402,800, the loss resulting from the scheme minus $2,200 in “lulling payments” paid to two of the victims in order to prevent them from going to authorities.  Judge Chuang ordered that Siddiqui be immediately taken into custody after finding that she violated the conditions of her pretrial release by visiting the victims over the weekend before sentencing.

According to her guilty plea, Siddiqui was a mortgage broker who falsely represented to individual victims that co-conspirator Alexander Matthews , 50, Dunn Loring, Virginia, was an investor or developer who could secure substantial returns on the victims’ investments in a short time period. Siddiqui solicited investments from each of the victims, vouched for Matthews’s trustworthiness and business acumen, and received money from the victims. She deposited most of the money from the victims into her personal bank account. Then she and/or Matthews provided each victim with a post-dated check in the amount of the victim’s investment plus the promised return. None of the post-dated checks were negotiable on the promised return date. After the victims discovered that the post-dated checks were not negotiable, Siddiqui and/or Matthews sent lulling payments and/or email communications to the victims.

For example, in 2008, a real estate agent and her husband agreed to invest $300,000, drawn on their home equity line of credit, to renovate a home in Clifton, Virginia, which Siddiqui and Matthews claimed was to be leased by the FBI.  Siddiqui, however, deposited the money in her personal bank account, and no lease agreement existed with the FBI.  Siddiqui and Matthews used the money for their own benefit, providing only a small number of lulling payments to the victims.

In November 2010, at Siddiqui’s urging, another victim agreed to invest $50,000 with Matthews and give Siddiqui a $5,000 personal loan. In return, Siddiqui gave the victim a promissory note for the investment signed by Matthews, and two post-dated checks: one for $6,000 from a bank account held by Siddiqui; and one for $60,000 from an account held by Matthews. When the victim attempted to cash the checks, a bank official told her they were not negotiable.  Siddiqui sent several lulling emails to the victim, claiming that she would be repaid, but the victim has not received any payment.

Siddiqui and Matthews defrauded the victims of approximately $355,000.

Siddiqui admitted to defrauding another individual of $50,000 in a transaction in 2014.

Matthews pled guilty in 2011 in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia to his participation in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Rene Febles of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General; and Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General, and Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray D. McKenzie, who prosecuted the case.

 

 

 

Michelle M. Borzillo, 59, Bristow, Virginia, a former attorney with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was sentenced  to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release, for defrauding Wells Fargo Bank in connection with the sham short sale of her home to her live-in boyfriend.  She was also ordered to pay $288,497 in restitution and to forfeit the proceeds of her offense.

Borzillo pleaded guilty on November 17, 2015 to committing bank fraud.  According to court documents, the defendant was a senior attorney at the FDIC until September 2014.  In 2007, she purchased a home in Nokesville, Virginia, for $850,000, with mortgages totaling $807,500 from Wells Fargo Bank.  In 2013, she engineered the short sale of her Nokesville home to her boyfriend, who had been living with her at the property for several years.  Continue Reading…

Mohsin Raza, 51, Chantilly, Virginia, along with his wife, Humaira Iqbal, 39, Chantilly, Virginia, and her two brothers, Farukh Iqbal, 41, Chantilly, Virginia, and Mohammad Ali Haider, 33, Chantilly, Virginia, were convicted by a federal jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and various counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution.

The defendants were indicted on April 23, 2015.  According to court records and evidence at trial, in 2005, Raza, then employed at Bank of America, was hired by SunTrust Mortgage (STM) as a vice president tasked with opening an office in Annandale, Virginia.  Raza hired his wife, another former loan officer from Bank of America, and her brothers, Farukh Iqbal and Haider, to work as loan officers.   From 2006 until 2007, they falsified loan applications for borrowers and purchased fake tax documents to support the false loan applications.  Sun Trust Mortgage underwriters in Richmond approved the loans based in large part upon the fake documents in the files, and borrowers were given loans to buy homes that they could not afford. Continue Reading…

Rosita Vilchez, 41, who was a fugitive in Lima, Peru, until she was extradited to the United States in June 2015, was sentenced  to 66 months in prison for leading a wide-ranging mortgage fraud conspiracy that targeted hundreds of victims in the northern Virginia Hispanic community. Vilchez was also ordered to serve a five-year term of supervised release after her prison term.  A forfeiture money judgment of more than $5 million was previously entered against Vilchez.

The mortgage fraud scheme, which operated between August 2005 and August 2007, generated nearly $7.4 million in fraudulent proceeds and caused losses of more than $15 million to lenders, most of which were federally insured. Continue Reading…

Kristen Michelle Ayala, aka Amber Lynch, aka Olivia Benet, aka Grace Williams, 30, formerly of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Joshua Manuel Sanchez, aka Nelson Cruz, aka Chris Ward, aka Daniel Mora, 34, formerly of Las Vegas, Nevada, were sentenced for conspiracy to commit wire fraud for their role in a $3.8 million dollar mortgage modification scam.

Ayala was sentenced to 135 months in prison, while Sanchez was sentenced to 151 months in prison. Both defendants were also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay full restitution to the victims of their crime. Continue Reading…

Rosita Vilchez, 39, a fugitive in Lima, Peru, until she was extradited to the United States in June 2015, pled guilty to leading a wide-ranging mortgage fraud conspiracy that targeted hundreds of victims in the northern Virginia Hispanic community. The mortgage fraud scheme, which operated between August 2005 and August 2007, generated nearly $7.4 million in fraudulent proceeds and caused losses of more than $15 million to lenders, most of which were federally insured. Continue Reading…

Charise Stone, 46, Ashburn, Virginia, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for her role in a real estate short sale scheme that included tax and mortgage fraud, and passing fraudulent financial documents. Stone was also ordered to forfeit $721,552, and ordered to pay restitution of $2,441,174 to the victim financial institutions and the IRS.

Stone was found guilty by a federal jury on May 27, 2015 in the short sale scheme. According to court documents, from 2007 to 2010 Stone targeted distressed homeowners who owed more on their mortgage loan than the market value of the home with false promises of financial recovery. Stone acquired distressed homeowners’ properties in her own name or under entities she controlled, made false representations to mortgage lenders in order to induce approval of the short sales, and then re-sold the properties—often the same day or the next—to new buyers at a price above the short sale amount, in violation of agreements made with mortgage lenders. Continue Reading…

Teresa Wieringo Humphries, 60, Madison Heights, Virginia, the former head teller of the Lynrocten Credit Union, Lynchburg, Virginia, was sentenced on federal embezzlement charges for her role in a scheme whereby she, and the manager of the credit union, used unauthorized and fraudulent origination of loans in the names of credit union members to embezzle and steal funds from the credit union’s deposits.

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George Kalivretenos, 58, Miami Beach, Florida, who allegedly stole $4 million in borrowers’ funds and lied to federal law enforcement agents, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and false statements.

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Linda Sue Newcomb, 63, Madison Heights, Virginia, who was the former manager of the Lynrocten Federal Credit Union, pled guilty in United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia to embezzlement, bank fraud and identity theft charges for her role in originating loans in the names of credit union members without those members’ knowledge or consent, including forging the member’s name to fictitious loan documents. Continue Reading…