SISTERS WILL GO TO JAIL FOR FORGERY AND STRAW BUYER SCAM

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Education & Training with (retired) TN LIC# 290452

Sisters Go to Jail for Forgery and Straw Buyer Scam

Sunti Shah, 51, and Supriti Soni, 52, two sisters, were sentenced Friday, July 27, 2012, for conspiring with two other family members to commit over $16 million in real estate fraud by forging documents and purchasing homes using straw buyers. 

Shah was sentenced to eight years in state prison July 27, 2012, after pleading guilty to the court to five felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 13 felony counts of forgery, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, five felony counts of grand theft, and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $1.3 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000.

Soni was sentenced to 10 years in state prison July 27, 2012, after pleading guilty to the court to nine felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 17 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of identity theft, 12 felony counts of grand theft, with sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and a 2003 prison prior for perjury.

Suniti Shah’s husband, Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 62, is charged with five felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 13 felony counts of forgery, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, five felony counts of grand theft, and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $1.3 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000. Dinesh Shah is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing Aug. 3, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

Soni and Suniti Shah’s mother, Sushama Devi Lohia, 74, Newport Beach, California, was sentenced to eight years in state prison April 20, 2012, after pleading guilty to a court offer Dec. 12, 2011, to 12 felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 27 felony counts of forgery, 12 felony count of grand theft, eight felony counts of failure to file, four felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, two felony counts of underreporting income and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000.

 

Soni, Lohia, and Suniti Shah have been convicted of the following. Dinesh Shah is accused of the following:

The four defendants worked together to secure loans for straw buyers using forged and false documents.

The Shahs owned and operated New Age Realty, First Property Escrow, City First Realty, and Associates Investments Group. All these businesses were located at 13821 Newport Avenue, Tustin, California. Soni owned and operated Vason Development, 1520 Warner Avenue, Santa Ana, California, a business that processed home loan applications. Lohia, a licensed real estate agent, worked out of both offices. The defendants used these offices to process fraudulent loans for straw buyers using forged and false documents.

Between April 2006 and March 2008, Lohia, Soni, Suniti Shah, and Dinesh Shah conspired to commit grand theft by recruiting straw buyers through friends and family, as well as their personal employees.

Between June 2006 and October 2009, Lohia, Soni, Suniti Shah, and Dinesh Shah obtained over 15 fraudulent loans on real estate properties in Orange County through the use of straw buyers’ credit. The defendants fabricated loan applications to reflect significantly higher incomes for the straw buyers, supplied altered bank statements to reflect the higher incomes, falsified employer information on loan documents, and forged the names and signatures of straw buyers on various deeds and loan documents.

The defendants used the personal and credit information of the straw buyers to complete the fraudulent documents used in obtaining loans. The fraudulent loans were all approved by then-Washington Mutual Bank. In total, the defendants committed over $16 million in fraud.

Between July 2008 and May 2009, Lohia and the Shahs filed false and forged documents with the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s Office to falsely show property transfers.

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office began investigating this case after receiving a complaint from a real estate agent. In the course of the real estate investigation, it was determined that between 2005 and 2008, Lohia had under-reported her income for two years and failed to file taxes for two years.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Doug Brannan of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

source: MFB

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Lynn B. Friedman
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Dear David,

How are you doing?
Always amazes me about these folks who put all their brains towards being crooks!

Have a happy day -
Lynn

Oct 14, 2012 05:15 AM #1
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David Saks
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Thanks, Lynn. Nice to hear from you.

Oct 14, 2012 08:39 PM #2
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