Criminal Justice News

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Former Annandale Loan Officer Pleads Guilty to Mortgage and Passport Fraud

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Pervaiz Arshad, 58, of Annandale, Virginia, pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with his role in fraudulent mortgage loan transactions involving nine homes in northern Virginia and approximately $1.7 million in losses to lenders. Arshad also pleaded guilty to a passport fraud charge in connection with his attempt to obtain a fraudulent passport for a co-conspirator fleeing to Canada.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Peter Rendina, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by United States District Judge T. S. Ellis, III.

Arshad faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the conspiracy charge and 10 years in prison on the passport charge when he is sentenced on November 2, 2012.

In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Arshad admitted that while acting as a loan officer for Annandale-based E-Star Lending, he recruited an individual to serve as a straw buyer in fraudulent real estate transactions designed to enrich himself and others. The properties, owned by co-conspirators, were sold to the straw buyer at a profit, and Arshad ensured the straw buyer would qualify for the 100-percent financing used to buy the properties by reporting false employment and income information on the loan applications. Conspirators set up fake companies to verify the false employment information and further deceive the lenders. No payments were made on the loans, and Arshad intended for the straw buyer to flee to Canada before the fraud was discovered.

Arshad was indicted in this case in 2010, after he had fled to Pakistan to avoid prosecution. He was arrested in July 2012 when authorities discovered him on a flight into Dulles International Airport. Arshad is the sixth individual associated with E-Star Lending to be convicted of mortgage fraud related charges since 2008.

This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Paul J. Nathanson is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

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