4 Charged With Purchasing Homes Using Straw Buyers

admin —  March 11, 2010 — 1 Comment

Sushama Devi Lohia, 71, Newport Beach, California, Supriti Soni, 49, Corona Del Mar, California, Suniti Shah, 48, Newport Beach, California, and Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 60, Newport Beach, California, have been charged with conspiracy to commit over $16 million in real estate fraud by forging documents and purchasing homes using “straw buyers.”

Sushama Devi Lohia is charged with 13 felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 19 felony counts of forgery, six felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, one felony count of grand theft, and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, Sushama is the mother of Supriti Soni and Suniti Shah.

Supriti Soni is charged with eight felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, 10 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of identity theft, one felony count of recording false and forged instrument, one felony count of grand theft, sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and 2003 prison prior sentencing enhancement for perjury. Supriti is Lohia’s daughter.

Suniti Shah is charged with five felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, nine felony counts of forgery, six felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, one felony count of grand theft, and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000. Suniti is Lohia’s daugther. 

Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah is charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, four felony counts of forgery, six felony counts of identity theft, four felony counts of recording false and forged instrument, one felony count of grand theft, and sentencing enhancement allegations for loss over $100,000, property damage over $3.2 million, and aggravated white collar crime over $500,000. Dinesh is Suniti Shah’s husband.  

Dinesh Shah and his wife, Suniti Shah, are accused of owning and operating New Age Realty, First Property Escrow, City First Realty, and Associates Investments Group. All these businesses were located at 13821 Newport Avenue, Tustin, California. Soni is accused of owning and operating Vason Development out of 1520 Warner Avenue, Santa Ana, California, a business that processed home loan applications. Lohia, a licensed real estate agent, is accused of working out of both offices. The four defendants are accused of using these offices to process fraudulent loans.

Between April 2006 and March 2008, Lohia, Soni, Suniti Shah and Dinesh Shah are accused of conspiring to commit grand theft by recruiting straw buyers through friends and family, as well as their personal employees.

Between June 2006 and October 2009, Lohia, Soni, Suniti Shah and Dinesh Shah are accused of obtaining 54 fraudulent loans on 29 real estate properties in Orange County, California through the use of straw buyers’ credit. The four defendants are accused of fabricating loan applications to reflect significantly higher incomes for the straw buyers, supplying altered bank statements to reflect the higher incomes, falsifying employer information on loan documents, and forging the names and signatures of straw buyers on various deeds and loan documents. They are accused of using the personal and credit information of the straw buyers to complete the fraudulent documents used in obtaining loans. The four defendants are accused of taking out fraudulent loans under their own names. The 54 loans were all approved by then Washington Mutual Bank.

On Nov. 7, 2006, Lohia and Soni are accused of signing over a property at 1805 Park Glen Circle, Santa Ana, to straw buyer J. Barboza.

Between June 2006 and October 2009, Lohia and Soni are accused of creating purchase agreements for straw buyers to purchase 16 Santa Ana, California properties at 2040 Oak Street, 1609 West Raymar Street, 25 La Cueva, 1405 Orange Avenue, 2234 Parton Street, 323 East Chestnut, 1418 Raymar Street, 517 South Garnsey, 1433 Garnsey, 1428 South Parton Street, 2273 Miner Street, 1602 South Orange Avenue, 810 Birch Street, 2133 West Civic Center, 919 West Camile, 1135 Baker Street, and one Huntington Beach, California property at 711 Owen Street.

Lohia is accused of creating a purchase agreement for 217 South Franklin, Santa Ana, California. Lohia and Suniti Shah are accused of creating purchase agreements for straw buyers to purchase two Santa Ana, California properties at 724 Oak Street and 1137 South Flower. Lohia, Dinesh and Suniti Shah are accused of creating purchase agreements for straw buyers to purchase three Santa Ana, California properties at 2214 Maple Street, 219 South Franklin, and 1019 West Myrtle.

Between March 31, 2008 and May 15, 2008, Lohia, Dinesh and Suniti Shah are accused of using victim Nisha A.’s identity to fraudulently transfer to other straw buyers four properties at 12222 Orangewood, Anaheim, California; 1619 West 12th Street, Santa Ana, California; 25472 Maximus Street, Mission Viejo, California; and 2203 Orange Avenue, Santa Ana, California. Between July 2008 and May 2009, Lohia, Dinesh and Suniti Shah are accused of filing false and forged documents with the Orange County Clerk-Recorder’s Office to falsely show the four property transfers, and a grant deed for 918 Garnsey, Santa Ana, California.

An investigation by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office led to the arrest of Lohia, Soni, and Suniti Shah. An arrest warrant has been issued for Dinesh Shah, who is believed to be in India.

Deputy District Attorney Doug Brannan of the White Collar Crime Unit is prosecuting this case.

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One response to 4 Charged With Purchasing Homes Using Straw Buyers

  1. These people should go to jail and never be released. All of their assets should be siezed and used to pay back for their fraud. Dinesh Shah is alleged to be back in the United States and in hiding in California.

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