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Straw Buyer Worked at Pizzeria

False Income Stated to Purchase Two Properties

SACRAMENTO, Calif.— (Feb. 23, 2009) Acting United States Attorney Lawrence G. Brown announced today that United States District Judge William B. Shubb Jr. sentenced MANPREET SINGH, 25, of Stockton, Calif., to six months of home detention and five years’ probation for mail fraud for her part in a mortgage fraud scheme. As a special term of probation, she was ordered to pay $1,000 a month in restitution to the victim of her mortgage fraud scam. And she was also ordered to pay $163,500 in restitution. She pleaded guilty on March 31, 2008. This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Kyle, who prosecuted the case along with Assistant United States Attorney Courtney Linn, SINGH purchased two homes as a straw buyer for IFTHIKAR AHMAD, a co-defendant in the case. Straw buyers are loan applicants who purchase homes on behalf of others with no intention of actually occupying the property they are purchasing. In exchange for the use of their name and credit information, straw buyers are often compensated. In this case, SINGH received $15,000 from Ahmad for her role in signing falsified loan documents. In the first transaction, SINGH stated that she earned more than $5,500 per month. In the second, SINGH stated that she earned $8,500. In truth, SINGH worked at Alfalfa’s Pizza in Stockton and made approximately $8 an hour. As a result of her fraudulent transactions, the homes purchased with SINGH as the straw buyer were foreclosed on, causing a loss to the lender of $163,500.

Judge Shubb, in sentencing the defendant, said that SINGH got herself involved in something where the only possible outcome was to end up in federal court. Judge Shubb told the defendant to remember that, even though she was involved in a serious crime that deprived people of money, she “got a break.” #

SOURCE: United State Department of Justice -- Eastern District of California

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