Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cleveland Feds Pinch Pair In Alleged Scam Involving Use Of Straw Buyer To Fraudulently 'Short Sell' 9-Bedroom Home & Several Gas Stations, Enabling Property Owner To Dupe Lenders Into Reducing Mortgage Loan Balances While Maintaining Control Of Home, Business Realty

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Cleveland, Ohio):
  • A man from Warren, Ohio, and an Indiana man were named in 10-count federal indictment for their roles in a conspiracy to defraud banks out of millions of dollars through fraudulent short sales of gas stations in the Youngstown area and other means, law enforcement officials said.

    Shaukat Sindhu, 56, of Warren, and Tahir Iqbal, 48, of Crown Point, Indiana, were each indicted on two counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, two counts of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution. Sindhu is also charged with one count of corrupt interference with the administration of the IRS and four tax counts.

    Sindhu owned several gas stations and other commercial property, but at times failed to make mortgage payments on these properties. Sindhu, Iqbal and others defrauded First Midwest and Consumers National banks by making false and misleading omission and representations about ownership of the properties between 2008 and 2013. Iqbal acted as a straw buyer for Sindhu in a short sale, enriching Sindhu by reducing or eliminating the principle owned on the properties, according to the indictment.

    Iqbal also served as a straw buyer for Sindhu for a 6,800-square foot, nine-bedroom home in Oak Park, Illinois, according to the indictment.

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