Convicted Real Estate Fraudster Family Is Back Flipping Real Estate And Flipping The California AG The Bird
It seems like the Shah family hasn’t learned crime does not pay. Members of the convicted California real estate fraudster family are back in the real estate game. The Shahs also aren’t being shy about it. They’re practically dancing around as if they’re doing the victory dance in Bajirao Mastani and flipping the state of California the bird.
Suniti Shah, Shah’s husband, her sister Supriti Soni and their mother, Sushama Devi Lohia all dodged a bull by setting up Suniti’s husband, Dinesh Shah as their patsy and then throwing him under the bus. Dinesh Shah was the only one who went to prison of the three. Will the ladies dodge prison a second time?
They were each sentenced to 10-14 years in state prison. However, it appears only Dinesh Shah served any time in the California penal system. This would indicate the women threw him under the bus with California AG’s office.
It’s a mystery as to why the women avoided any prison time. The consensus in the finance world is that the women may have ratted out more people. The question is, will they be lucky this time around?
Real Estate Fraudster Family Owned A Web Of Real Estate Related Agencies To Pull Off Straw Deal Scam
The Shahs owned and operated a plethora of real estate-related businesses in Southern California.
They operated two real estate offices named New Age Realty and City First Realty. They also operated a title company named First Property Escrow.
In addition, they owned a property investment company named Associates Investments Group. All these businesses were located at 13821 Newport Avenue, Tustin, California.
Soni owned and operated Vason Development Vason processed home loan applications. Lohia who was 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.
Lohia, Soni and the Shahs recruited straw buyers through friends and family, as well as their personal employees between April 2006 and March 2008.
Between June 2006 and October 2009 the four family members used straw buyers to receive 15 fraudulent loans.
The Shahs fabricated higher incomes for the straw buyers.
They also supplied altered bank statements to reflect the higher assets and falsified employer information on loan documents. They also forged the names and signatures of straw buyers on various deeds and loan documents.
The fraudulent loans were all approved by the now-defunct Washington Mutual Bank. In total, the defendants committed over $16 million in fraud.
Lohia and the Shahs filed false and forged documents with the Orange County between July 2008 and May 2009 showing bogus property transfers.
The Orange County DA’s Office began investigating the real estate fraudster family after receiving complaints from real estate agents.
The Orange County DA Busts The $16 Million Scam Wide Open
The California court convicted the Shahs and Lohia for the $16 million real estate scam in 2012.
The court handed down a sentence of eight years in state prison for Suniti Shah. Shah pleaded guilty to five felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and 13 felony counts of forgery.
Shah also pleaded guilty to four felony counts of identity theft. In addition, she pleaded guilty to four felony counts of recording a false and forged instrument. She also pleaded guilty to five felony counts of grand theft.
Shah’s sister Supriti Soni received a sentence of 10 years in state prison. She pleaded guilty to nine felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime and 17 felony counts of forgery. She also pleaded guilty to one felony count of identity theft and 12 felony counts of grand theft. Soni had also served a prior prison sentence in 2003 for perjury.
Shah and Soni’s mother, Sushama Devi Lohia pleaded guilty to 12 felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime. She also pleaded guilty to 27 felony counts of forgery. In addition, she also pleaded guilty to 12 felony counts of grand theft and four felony counts of identity theft.
Lohia also pleaded guilty to four felony counts of recording false and forged instruments. In addition to pleading guilty to two felony counts of underreporting income.
Shah’s husband, Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah pleaded guilty in 2014 to a plethora of criminal charges. These charges included 13 felony counts of forgery and four felony counts of identity theft.
The Real Estate Fraudster Family Uses Daughter To Get Back In The Game
In August 2017, the Shahs approached one of their tenant named Greg about a multi-million dollar commercial finance opportunity. The Shahs learned through the real estate grapevine Greg was involved in commercial finance prior to being diagnosed with ALS. They also learned he still had a Rolodex filled with contacts.
Suniti and Dinesh Shah approached Greg with a deal to refinance a hotel belonging to an associate in Michigan.
They instructed Greg to have their cut of $124,000 from the deal wired to an account in their daughter’s name after the deal had been finalized.
MFI-Miami has obtained communication about this deal between Suniti and the people involved in the transaction. In addition, MFI-Miami has obtained the wire instructions.
The emails and text messages indicate Suniti Shah was concerned about her husband’s involvement in the transaction. She even states that his involvement could send him back to prison.
The Real Estate Fraudster Family Enter Into A Short Sale Deal With Tenant
After the hotel deal was completed, the Shahs entered into a short sale deal with Greg and his girlfriend. Greg wanted to buy the house they were renting from the Shahs at 12590 Stanton Avenue in Tustin, California. The Shahs met with Greg and his girlfriend. At the meeting, the Shahs expressed their expectation to receive a side payment at closing.
Greg acknowledged their demand. However, he did not give any commitment to giving them a payment.
The Shahs have nearly $2.5 million in tax and HOA liens on the Stanton Avenue house. Unfortunately, the house is only worth between $750,000 and $900,000.
The Shahs were cooperative as Greg helped them negotiate with their mortgage servicer, Ocwen and lien holders.
The negotiator received the package from the Shahs. However, he discovered the Shahs did not disclose the rental payments from Greg or the $124,000 received from the Michigan hotel deal.
In April, the Shahs starting becoming uncooperative. It appeared as if they were purposely sabotaging the short sale.
The Real Estate Fraudster Family’s $4.5 Million Mansion Goes Into Foreclosure
Greg soon discovered the real estate fraudster family were facing foreclosure and eviction from their $4.5 million home in Newport Beach. As a result of the foreclosure, the Shahs hired Greg to find an investor to buy the property in the hopes of achieving a Short Sale.
Greg identified and vetted an Investor. The Shahs then dropped a bombshell. They demanded the investor pay $1,500,000 to an entity posing as a landscape company.
The investor refused. The investor also discovered title on 12 Horizon was clouded. As a result, the Short Sale process on 12 Horizon would be expensive and time-consuming.
The Shahs became delusional and demanded the investor to pay the legal fees for the costs to cover all of this work. The investor refused to concede.
The Shahs instead opted to file a Lis Pendens on 12 Horizon to slow down the foreclosure process with JPMorgan Chase. However, the plan backfired. The filing stopped the short sale process in its tracks.
JPMorgan Chase stated they would no longer work with the real estate fraudster family. JPMorgan Chase also stated they would prefer to foreclose. They stated the Shah’s ongoing years of title swaps and bankruptcy filings as the reason. In other words, they’re fed up dealing with the Shah’s shenanigans.
Real Estate Fraudster Family Now Sabotaging The Short Sale With The Tenants
After JPMorgan Chase foreclosed on 12 Horizon, the Shah’s became adversarial. The Shahs and Lohia pressured the real estate broker handling 12590 Stanton to allow a unilateral cancellation of the Listing Agreement and Purchase Agreement.
The real estate fraudster family contacted Ocwen to cancel the Approved Short Sale Agreement. However, the contract cannot be canceled unilaterally.
Greg and his girlfriend have now hired an attorney to force the short sale that Ocwen approved.
The Shahs retaliated and filed an eviction notice against Greg and his girlfriend. It has become clear the Shahs are sabotaging the short sale with Greg and his girlfriend.
The Shahs want to keep the house because within the next two months they will be living out of their car.
Ocwen has stated their intent to either foreclose on the Shahs or do the short sale to Greg and his girlfriend. They, like JPMorgan Chase, are done with the Shah’s shenanigans.
Greg’s girlfriend says that they have also had strangers of South Asian descent knocking on the door asking for the Shahs. The strangers state they had made an arrangement to view and possibly purchase the house.
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