James Delbert McConville, a/k/a Delbert James McConville, Laura Margery Caton, a/k/a Laura Margery Tate, a/k/a Laura Gussman, Araks Davoudi, a/k/a Araks Galstanian, Donna Demello, a/k/a Donna Demello Martin, a/k/a Donna Kay McDaniel, a/k/a Donna Kay Demello, Jason Arthur Piette, and Rasul Rasuli, all California residents, have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
According to the indictment, McConville purchased hundreds of condominiums throughout California in the names of straw buyers, individuals who were promised $5,000 to $10,000 for the use of their name and credit. The loan applications are further alleged to have contained false information about the employment, income, and assets of the straw buyers. Davoudi is alleged to have worked at Citibank as a personal banker during the conspiracy. She is charged with creating fraudulent verifications of bank deposits for some of the straw buyers. The escrow agent, Demello, is charged with creating a fraudulent final settlement statement that concealed large payments to individuals and entities controlled by McConville. That fraudulent version of the final settlement statement was sent to the lenders funding the loans. The indictment also alleges that McConville laundered the proceeds of the fraudulent scheme by writing checks for the purchase of expensive works of art and a valuable Superman comic book.
The whereabouts of McConville are unknown at this time. Anyone who has information about his whereabouts, is asked to contact the FBI at 415-553-7400.
Caton was arrested in Oakland, California and made her initial appearance in San Francisco, California. She was released on a $250,000 secured bond. Caton’s next scheduled appearance is at 10 a.m. on May 28, 2010, for status before Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, Oakland, California. The other four defendants have not been processed yet.
The maximum statutory penalty for each count of conspiracy in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 is 30 years imprisonment and a fine of $1,000,000 or twice the gross gain or loss involved in the conspiracy, whichever is greater. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of money laundering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957 is 10 years imprisonment, and a maximum fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Keslie Stewart is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Kathleen Turner and Patty Lau. The prosecution is the result of a one year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Please note, an indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, the defendants charged in this indictment must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.