Lilya Domnenko, 43, Viktor Domnenko, 48, both of Wheaton, Illinois, Olanrewaju J. Okulaja, 29, Chicago, Illinois, Festus Segbawu, 49, Oak Park, Illinois, Mhde Askar, 23, Chicago, Illinois, and Al Holman, 39, Berwyn, Illinois, were charged with one or more counts of wire fraud in a three-count indictment returned June 16, 2009, and unsealed after several defendants were arrested in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme involving the purchase of two multi-million-dollar single-family residences in suburban Wheaton and Glenview, Illinois. Between February and September 2007, the defendants allegedly fraudulently obtained loan proceeds totaling $3,393,435 from Countrywide Home Loans and Washington Mutual Bank FA (WAMU).
Regarding the Wheaton residence, the indictment alleges that in February 2007, Lilya Domnenko agreed to purchase 919 Arbor Lane, Wheaton, Illinois, which her husband, Viktor Domnenko had built through his construction company, Creative Builders. Lilya Domnenko submitted loan applications to WAMU for $990,000 and $241,000, falsely stating that she was an employee of Creative Builders and earned $37,500 a month. Viktor Domnenko allegedly received approximately $80,000 of the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds after the sale.
In June 2007, Okulaja asked Segbawu to recruit a nominee buyer to purchase 919 Arbor Lane from Lilya Domnenko. Segbawu and Holman recruited an individual to use a stolen identity and introduced this individual to Okulaja, who allegedly paid another individual to obtain false employment information to support the bogus nominee purchaser’s loan application.
Okulaja and Askar allegedly helped prepare and submitted to Countrywide a fraudulent loan application for $1.15 million, falsely stating that the nominee purchaser was employed, had substantial monthly income, savings and funds for the down payment, which, in fact, were provided by Askar, according to the indictment.
At the closing on June 25, 2007, Lilya Domnenko endorsed a check for her sale proceeds of $129,490 and gave the funds to Okulaja and Askar, knowing that they had no disclosed connection to sale of 919 Arbor Lane, the indictment alleges. Approximately two months later, Viktor Domnenko gave Okulaja and Holman checks for $10,000 and $30,000, respectively, as additional payment for recruiting the nominee buyer of the residence.
Regarding the Glenview residence, in 2007 Okulaja and others allegedly recruited a nominee buyer to purchase a residence at 1619 Sunset Ridge, Glenview, Illinois. Again, Okulaja and Askar allegedly helped prepare and submitted to WAMU a fraudulent loan application for $2.3 million, falsely stating that the nominee purchaser was employed, had substantial monthly income, savings and funds for the down payment, which, in fact, Okulaja and Askar knew were provided by another individual who expected to receive an eight percent profit on the short term use of the funds.
At the closing on Sept. 21, 2007, Okulaja and Askar caused the title company to issue two checks — one for $674,830 payable to a company that Okulaja had created to make his receipt of loan proceeds appear legitimate and which he shared with Askar and another individual, the indictment alleges, and a check for $730,000 payable to a company controlled by the individual who had provided the funds that were used by the nominee buyer.
Lilya and Viktor Domnenko, and Askar are free on bond following their arrests in this case. Okulaja remains detained in federal custody, while an arrest warrant is outstanding for Segbawu. Holman is scheduled to be arraigned along with Okulaja and Askar on June 26, 2009, in U.S. District Court.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $3,393,435 from the defendants.
The Government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane MacArthur.