Federal indictment charges 7 people in alleged $17 million multistate mortgage scams, Ponzi schemes

September 15, 2012

OregonLive.com on September 14, 2012 released the following:

“By The Associated Press

A federal indictment unsealed Friday charged seven people with running a multistate Ponzi scheme and related mortgage fraud scams that prosecutors said cost investors and lenders a combined $17 million.

The years-long investigation resulted in the arrest of 55-year-old Lawrence Leland Loomis. He and his father-in-law, John Hagener, 76, were charged with operating a fraudulent California-based investment fund that cost more than 100 investors more than $7 million.

Both men are from Granite Bay, a wealthy Sacramento suburb.

Hagener’s attorney, William Portanova, said his client would plead not guilty in federal court in Sacramento. It was not immediately clear if the others had retained attorneys.

Loomis and five other defendants are also charged in a 50-count indictment with costing lenders $10 million in losses through two mortgage fraud schemes.

Prosecutors said all three frauds were operated through Loomis Wealth Solutions, which was based in California and also worked with investors in Illinois, Washington and elsewhere from 2006 through 2008.

“We are bringing to justice some of those who are responsible for the mortgage crisis in this district and elsewhere,” U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said in a statement announcing the indictments.

Portanova said the investigation was under way for at least four years before his client was charged.

“We’re looking forward to a resolution of this matter. It’s been a long investigation and we’re all ready to move forward,” Portanova said. “Large-scale, long-term white collar investigations are by their nature measured by calendars, not stopwatches.”

Loomis and Hagener were charged with bilking investors through a program called Naras Funds in 2007 and 2008. The indictment said Loomis encouraged investors to tap their home equity and retirement accounts to buy shares in the funds and to help purchase residential real estate.

He called the investments “simply the best financial plan ever created,” according to prosecutors.

He and his father-in-law allegedly promised 12 percent annual returns and said the funds were guaranteed, but the indictment claims the men used investors’ money to pay themselves, their companies’ operating expenses, and to prop up the scheme by paying later investors with money from earlier victims.

Loomis and Hagener had court appearances Friday, while the others were to appear later.

Loomis and a real estate appraiser, Darren Fehst, 44, of Halifax, Nova Scotia, are also charged in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme in which Loomis is accused of paying Fehst thousands of dollars to overstate appraisals so properties could be sold for inflated prices.

Loomis and four others also are charged with buying about 200 properties in Arizona, California, Florida and elsewhere while falsifying the sales prices and costing lenders about $10 million.

The others are Michael Llamas, 27, of Tracy; Peter Woodard, 54, of Ventura; Joseph A. Gekko, 43, of Yorba Linda; and Dawn C. Powers, 42, of Lincoln.

All are charged with mail and wire fraud. Each fraud charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison.”

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes – 18 U.S.C. § 1341

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Mohammad Nawaz Khan, Iquila Begum Khan, Mohammad Shahbaz Khan, Gurdev Kaur Johl, and Kewal Singh Arrested by the FBI in an Alleged $5 Million Fraud Scheme

May 2, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 1, 2012 released the following:

“Five Arrested in Sutter and Yuba Counties for $5 Million Fraud Scheme

SACRAMENTO, CA— United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that five individuals have been arrested in Sutter and Yuba Counties for their participation in a long-running unemployment and disability fraud scheme.

Mohammad Nawaz Khan, 56, and Iqila Begum Khan, 31, both of Live Oak; and Mohammad Shahbaz Khan, 56, Gurdev Kaur Johl, 67, and Kewal Singh, 74, all of Yuba City, were arrested today. They are scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman at 2:00 p.m. today. Also charged in the complaint, but not arrested is Mohammad Adnan Khan, 32, of Live Oak.

According to the criminal complaint, the defendants began forming a series of companies with the Employment Development Department in 1989. The most recent company was formed in 2011. All of these companies purported to be farm labor contractors that provided labor to harvest various agricultural crops in Sutter and Yuba Counties.

However, undercover operations by a number of confidential sources showed that these businesses were in fact selling wages to hundreds of individuals in Northern California. The defendants would charge an individual approximately $250 for $1,000 in wages. The purchaser, who never performed any work for the defendants’ companies, would then claim to be laid off and file for unemployment benefits, disability benefits, or both.

When interviewed by EDD, the individuals who claimed to have worked for these companies would oftentimes not know the location where they worked, or the name of their supervisor. Sometimes they would report earnings that greatly exceeded the agricultural norms for the area. Many of the employees reported by these companies were between 50 and 70 years old and claimed that their duties consisted of picking peaches and harvesting walnuts, physically demanding work.

According to the criminal complaint, in order to further the fraud, the defendants used the name “Mohammed Khan,” used each other’s business addresses, repeatedly hired and laid off each other, and continually changed the names of the businesses.

The investigation is ongoing in order to determine the full extent of the fraud. A preliminary analysis of EDD claim records has found more than 2,000 potentially fraudulent unemployment and disability claims and more than $5 million lost.

This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, and the Investigation Division of the California Employment Development Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison. The actual sentence, however, will be determined after conviction at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables The charges are only allegations. Each of the defendants listed is presumed innocent, unless and until proven guilty.”

US v. Khan et al – Federal Criminal Complaint

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.