Everybody's not going to get away with their evil!!
Mortgage broker gets caught in mortgage fraud scheme
Los Angeles Mortgage Broker Arrested For Stealing Escrow Funds From Tuolumne County Couple
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lauren Horwood
November 22, 2011
PHONE: (916) 554-2706
Docket #: 1:11-CR-00237-LJO
FRESNO, Calif. — United States Attorney Benjamin
B. Wagner announced the arrest of Steve Zaven Kessedjian, 48, of Los
Angeles, after a federal grand jury returned an indictment on July 21,
2011, charging him with mail fraud for a mortgage fraud scheme.
Kessedjian was arrested today in Los Angeles by U.S. Secret Service
agents and appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge in the U.S. District
According to the indictment, Kessedjian’s
company, Amerilend Inc. in Woodland Hills, helped homeowners secure
loans to refinance their homes. When a loan was funded, Amerilend would
use Targa Escrow, another business owned by Kessedjian, to disperse
the escrow funds.
According to the indictment, in December 2007,
an Amerilend employee assisted a couple from Tuolumne County in
refinancing their home to consolidate their credit card bills. As
directed by closing documents, the bank paid off the first mortgage and
then wired the remainder of the loan proceeds, $57,343, to Targa
Escrow. Instead of dispersing the remainder to the credit card companies
as the escrow instructions directed, Kessedjian took the funds for his
own purposes. The victims lost their home to foreclosure and their
home-based business, as they could not make payments for the refinanced
loan and pay the creditors who were supposed to have been paid off
with the funds taken by Kessedjian.
If convicted of the charges, Kessedjian faces a
maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and
up to three years supervised release. The actual sentence, however,
will be determined 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.
This case is the product of an investigation by
the United States Secret Service and the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s
Office. Assistant United States Attorney Michele Thielhorn is
prosecuting the case.
The charges are only allegations, and the
defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a
FORMER TITLE CLOSER GET 4 YEARS IN PRISON......
Eric Koppelman, 49, Hauppauge,
New York, a former title closer, was sentenced to four years in prison
for his role in a scheme to steal over $6 million in proceeds of home
mortgage loans. The stolen funds were intended to be used to pay off
existing mortgages on the properties. on June 1, 2010, Irshad Ramzan, a co-conspirator and former mortgage broker who supervised the operations of Queens, New York based Platinum Funding,
was sentenced to 84 months in prison for his role in the scheme to
steal the proceeds of home mortgage loans, as well as in a separate
scheme to obtain home mortgage loans from banks under false pretenses by
arranging straw purchases of the homes and generating tens of thousands
of dollars in unwarranted fees for Ramzan and Platinum Funding. According to the Information to which Koppelman pleaded guilty, statements made in Manhattan, New York, federal court, and other documents filed in this case:
Koppelman and Ramzan engaged in a scheme to steal the proceeds of home mortgages from 2004 through October 2005. To further their scheme, Koppelman and Ramzan had checks issued to one or more companies controlled by Koppelman and Ramzan, which funds represented all or part of the loan proceeds that were to be used to satisfy mortgages. To hide their fraud, Koppelman and Ramzan
lied to financial institutions providing the home mortgage loans and
falsely stated that part of the proceeds of the mortgage loans were
being used to satisfy the seller's mortgage loan. Instead, these funds
were being used by Koppelman and Ramzan for their own purposes.
The sentence was imposed yesterday by United States District Judge Paul G. Gardephe in Manhattan, New York federal court.
Ramzan's sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan, New York federal court.
In addition to the prison term, Koppelman
was sentenced to five years of supervised release and was ordered to
pay over $6 million in restitution and to forfeit various property.
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District
of New York, made the announcement. Mr. Bharara praised the
investigative work of the United States Postal Inspection Service and
thanked them for their work in this case. He also thanked Ticor Title Insurance Company of Florida for its assistance in the investigation.
These cases are being prosecuted by the Office's Complex Frauds Unit.
Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Levy is in charge of the