NEWPORT BEACH, CA - Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah plead guilty on Oct.17 for his part in a real estate fraud scheme with losses exceeding $20 million and was immediately sentenced to seven years in prison. He had been convicted in June on three counts of tax evasion, was also sentenced today to two years each on...
Several other members of Shah’s family have been convicted in the case. “Using straw buyers and flipping homes between related family members at artificially inflated prices, the Shah-Soni-Lohia fraud ring fraudulently obtained home loans from numerous financial institutions, which suffered millions of dollars in losses when the homes were ultimately foreclosed,” McFetridge told patch.com.
“This case specifically focused on 54 fraudulent home loans from Washington Mutual Bank and a total loss estimated in excess of $20 million by the family ring. Losses for the Shah part are in the $2.5 million range.”
Suniti Shah, 51, was sentenced to eight years in prison and her 52-year- old sister Supriti Soni to 10 years in prison in July 2012, according to Deputy District Attorney Doug Brannan, the original prosecutor on the case who has since retired.
Froeberg offered plea bargains to the two defendants, Brannan said. Suniti and Soni’s mother, Sushama Devi Lohia, 74, of Newport Beach, pleaded guilty in December 2011 and was sentenced in April 2012 to eight years in prison for her part in the scheme. Suniti Shah is married to Dinesh Shah. The family would use the credit of phony home buyers to acquire property and secure loans with forged and false documents, Brannan said. The four obtained about 15 fraudulent loans, would doctor loan applications with inflated incomes for the straw buyers and took out fraudulent loans under their own names through then-Washington Mutual Bank, Brannan said. Lohia, Soni, and Suniti and Dinesh Shah recruited the straw buyers through friends, family and co-workers between April 2006 and March 2008, Brannan said. Dinesh and Suniti Shah owned and operated New Age Realty, First Property Escrow, City First Realty, and Associates Investments Group, in Tustin.