A former vice president of sales for a leading San Francisco real estate company has provided numerous details about a real estate mortgage fraud scheme allegedly perpetrated by the company to pump up sales, and which has been the focus of a seven-year investigation by the FBI. The details of the scheme were included in a sentencing memorandum for the salesperson, Ayman Shahid, who is facing years in prison for his role in the fraud, but who provided the FBI with information relating to the scheme in hopes of a reduced sentence. Shahid has alleged that Discovery Homes, a company owned by the powerful Seeno real estate family, engaged in a massive scheme to provide illicit payments to new homeowners to help them purchase homes at inflated costs and fraudulently obtain credit lines.
Shahid Said Scheme Was Directed by Top Executives
The FBI’s investigation of the Seeno real estate companies began in 2010 when it raided the Seeno headquarters in Concord, California to find evidence of real estate mortgage fraud. Shahid was arrested in 2014 on 18 counts of bank fraud, most of which were dropped after spending two years helping federal investigators build their case against the Seeno companies.
Shahid claims that the scheme to illegally provide payments to homeowners to flout credit requirements and inflate home prices was directed by members of the Seeno family as well as the company’s attorneys. Discovery Homes did plead guilty to fraud as a corporate entity, and nine other Seeno associates pled guilty to criminal charges as well, but federal investigators appear to have fallen short in collecting sufficient evidence to charge top Seeno executives.
In a written statement discussing the inability to bring charges against top executives, federal prosecutor John Hemann wrote, “Although logic and the overall circumstances suggest that others at least knew of Shahid’s conduct and the overall scheme, ultimately the proof was lacking and the investigation was not able to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Work With an Experienced Los Angeles Real Estate Attorney
Attorney Laine T. Wagenseller of the Wagenseller Law Firm has published numerous articles on real estate law and works with individuals and businesses across Southern California in resolving real estate matters, including allegations of real estate fraud. Contact the Wagenseller Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.