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PRESS RELEASE


Loan Officer Sentenced

Sentencing in Multimillion Dollar Credit Card and Mortgage Fraud Scheme


 
Alexandria, Virginia - (November 9, 2007) Basir Chand, 43, of Springfield, Virginia, was sentenced today to 78 months in prison and ordered to pay $5 million in forfeiture for his role in a multimillion dollar credit card and mortgage fraud scheme. Chand had previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and to organize a continuing financial crimes enterprise and to a related mail fraud count. Chuck Rosenberg, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Washington Field Office; Guy Cottrell, Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Washington Division; and, Colonel David M. Rohrer, Chief of Police, Fairfax County Police Department, made the announcement.

The charges were part of an indictment alleging that Chand, along with co-conspirators Abdul Hameed, Bilal Saleem, Naim Aslam Mann, Jawad Ahmad, Arshad Hussain, and Ozair Idris, conspired to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud in which the defendants used various fraudulent identities that they controlled to obtain numerous credit card accounts, personal and business bank accounts, and mortgage loan accounts. According to court documents, Chand was a loan officer for a mortgage lender, and he abused his position of trust to make fraudulent loans to fictitious identities. Chand also fabricated false drivers licenses that enabled other co-conspirators to pose as the borrowers. Saleem, 27, of Woodbridge, Virginia, and Mann, 33, of Baltimore, Maryland, have also pled guilty to related charges and await sentencing. Hameed, Ahmad, and Idris are to be tried on January 7, 2008.

According to the indictment, the defendants established multiple false businesses and used them to fabricate employment and salary information for the false identities. This information was then provided to credit card companies, leasing offices, mortgage companies, and financial institutions for the purpose of obtaining credit in the names of the false identities. The defendants also rented apartments and purchased properties using false identities, and these locations were then used to receive mail from the lenders addressed to the false identities and businesses and to receive shipments of goods purchased using the false identities. The indictment says that the defendants organized, managed, and supervised a continuing financial crimes enterprise that is, a series of violations of the mail fraud statute that affected a financial institution and was committed by at least four persons acting in concert and received $5,000,000 or more in gross receipts from the criminal enterprise during a 24-month period from in or about May 2005 to May 2007. According to the indictment, hundreds of thousands of dollars obtained from the scheme were transferred by the defendants to accounts in Pakistan. Chand admitted as part of his plea that had used several fraudulent identities to conduct banking transactions and that the scheme of which he was a part resulted in losses to financial institutions of more than $2.5 million.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Fairfax County Police Department, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorneys James P. Gillis, Gordon R. Kromberg, and Karen L. Taylor are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.



SOURCE: United States Department Of Justice - District of Virginia
 
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