On February 2, 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California indicted Simon Saed Alizadeh and Kian Ashkanizadeh for allegedly engaging in a mortgage fraud scheme involving four homes in Carlsbad, California. The indictment charges Alizadeh and Ashkanizadeh with conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering.

In a press release issued on February 14, 2012, U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy alleges that Alizadeh and Ashkanizadeh, working for the mortgage company Southern California Finance, asked family members to provide their name and signatures on mortgage applications, leading to the qualification of approximately $1 million in mortgage funding for each of the four properties.

According to the indictment, Alizadeh and Ashkanizadeh arranged for $200,000 in “consulting fees” and $45,000 in “construction fees,” but no consulting or construction was ever performed. It is alleged that the funds would first be channeled into the bank accounts of relatives and friends and then cause the funds to be transferred or withdrawn to their own accounts.

Alizadeh and Ashkanizadeh will appear before United States District Judge Irma E. Gonzalez for a motion hearing on April 3, 2012. Count 1 of the indictment charges Alizadeh and Ashkanizadeh with Conspiracy. The maximum penalty is up to five years imprisonment, and the greater of a $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or twice the gross pecuniary loss. Count two is for Mail Fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment, and the greater of a $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or twice the gross pecuniary loss. Count three and four are for Money Laundering, which carries a maximum twenty years imprisonment, and the greater of a $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or twice the gross pecuniary loss. Counts five through eight are for Money Laundering, which carries a maximum penalty of twenty years imprisonment, and a fine for the greater of $500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transaction.

The author of this blog is Erich Ferrari, an attorney specializing in Federal Criminal Defense matters. If you have any questions please contact him at 202-280-6370 or ferrari@ferrari-legal.com.

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