Archives For Mortgage Fraud

Ana Maritza Gomez, 45, Hyattsville, Maryland, was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud victims through a foreclosure rescue scam.  United States District Judge Roger W. Titus also ordered Gomez to pay $205,280.25 in restitution.

Two co-defendants, Rene De Jesus De Leon, 49, Silver Spring, Maryland, and Pedrina Rodriguez Bonilla, 39, Silver Spring, Maryland, have also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud for their involvement in the same scheme.

According to evidence presented at the six-day trial, from at least late 2011 to August 2015, Gomez and her co-conspirators claimed that they could help homeowners who wanted to modify their mortgage loans and prevent foreclosure of their homes. The conspirators sold the victims on a “principal reduction” program that included an upfront fee, typically between $3,000 and monthly payments for 10 to 15 years. Gomez and her co-conspirators told the victims to make monthly payments to the conspirators and to companies they controlled, in lieu of to the homeowners’ lenders. The companies controlled by Gomez’s co-conspirators were named Marketing Multiservices LLC and Innovative Solutions Services LLC.

According to the indictment and court documents, the conspirators mailed monthly invoices to the homeowner victims that falsely indicated that the “principal balance” was being paid down. Some of the victims paid Gomez in person each month at her residence; or some of the victims deposited their payments directly into bank accounts controlled by Gomez’s co-conspirators. The conspirators told the victims not to open any mail from their lenders and instead provide it to the conspirators. The conspirators did not, however, negotiate with lenders of behalf of the homeowners. Many of the victims lost their homes.

Sentencing for Rene De Leon is scheduled for December 14, 2017 at 10 a.m. and Pedrina Bonilla is scheduled for sentencing on December 13, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Rene Febles of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG); Special Agent in Charge Cary A. Rubenstein of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG); Chief Henry P. Stawinski III of the Prince George’s County Police Department; Postal Inspector in Charge Robert B. Wemyss of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division; and Chief J. Thomas Manger of the Montgomery County Police Department.

 

Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FHFA-OIG, HUD-OIG, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County Police Departments, and the Prince George’s County State’s Attorney’s Office for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant United States Attorney Kristi N. O’Malley and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jolie F. Zimmerman, who prosecuted the case.

Mark Andreotti, 46, Wyckoff, New Jersey, a former settlement agent, was convicted at trial on charges related to the refinancing of properties in Bergen and Morris Counties, New Jersey.  Andreotti was found guilty on all six counts of an indictment charging him with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, tax evasion, and failure to file tax returns. He was convicted following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court. The jury deliberated one and a half hours before returning its verdict.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

In January 2010, Andreotti submitted a loan application to a bank requesting $625,000 to refinance the mortgage on his house in Wyckoff. Andreotti, who owned and operated Metropolitan Title and Abstract (Metropolitan), used Metropolitan as the settlement agent on the transaction. After the bank transferred the $625,000 for the refinance to Metropolitan’s escrow account, Andreotti spent the money on personal expenses instead of paying off the first mortgage on the house.

In April 2011, Andreotti conspired with another individual who worked as a real estate attorney to obtain $480,000 by claiming that the money would be used to refinance the mortgage on the attorney’s house in Montville, New Jersey. After the bank transferred the money for the refinance to Metropolitan’s escrow account, Andreotti kept $110,000 for himself before transferring the remaining funds to the other conspirator.

In 2010, the IRS initiated collection actions against Andreotti for unpaid personal income taxes. Despite numerous liens and levies and having five rental income properties in addition to his primary residence, Andreotti continued to evade his taxes. He also failed to file tax returns for the tax years 2010 and 2011.

The bank fraud counts are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The tax evasion count is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The counts of failure to file tax returns are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $25,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for January 23, 2018.

Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced the conviction and credited special agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Steven Perez in Newark; special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen in Newark; and investigators with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty verdicts.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Chen in Newark and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie Divine of the Federal Housing and Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General.

Defense counsel: John P. McGovern Esq. and Christopher Dunn Esq., of Newark.

David T. Odom, 53, Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for a wire fraud conspiracy arising from a scheme to defraud lenders in order to obtain bridge financing for a movie. United States District Judge George L. Russell III also ordered Odom to forfeit up to $821,000 after the sale of the property and pay $700,000 in restitution.

Co-conspirator Darryl Wesley Clements, 50, Detroit, Michigan, previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.  Rodney Patrick Dunn, 40, Elkridge, Maryland, pleaded guilty in a related case to receipt of a bribe by a bank official.

David Odom owned CityScope Productions, LLC, and was seeking financing to produce the movie “Season Tickets.”   Odom met Darryl Clements through an attorney in New York. Clements created documents falsely stating that CityScope had permanent financing of $13 million for the movie from Bridge Capital and The Shah Group, and that the funds were held in escrow at a bank in Baltimore, where Dunn worked as a bank officer.  Dunn had agreed with Clements that when prospective lenders attempted to verify the existence of the escrow accounts, Dunn would text or telephone Clements with the caller’s information and permit Clements to return the telephone call posing as “Rodney Dunn, bank officer.”  Dunn believed he would obtain from Clements valuable contacts with professional athletes that would catapult his career change into sports agency.  Clements also promised to pay Dunn for his assistance.

In order to carry out the fraud scheme, Clements also created email accounts which appeared to belong to Dunn and The Shah Group, but which Clements actually controlled.  In February 2011, Dunn purchased five cashiers’ checks from his employer bank, each for $20 and made payable to Clements. Clements then altered the checks so that they totaled $4 million, the payees were individuals and entities affiliated with the movie, and “The Shah Group,” was the remitter.  Clements provided the altered checks to Odom/CityScope.  Odom knew that the checks were fraudulent since in fact, no one had been paid.  Clements also fraudulently placed Dunn’s forged signature on escrow agreements and proof of funds statements, which Clements emailed to Odom, so that Odom could furnish those fraudulent documents to prospective lenders.

Odom sought financing from multiple lenders including an unsuccessful attempt thwarted by the prospective lender’s local counsel in Baltimore.  Among other things, Clements created a fictitious bank statement for a purported escrow account, which Odom admitted he sent to a prospective lender.

In a telephone call on May 9, 2011, Clements posed as Dunn and fraudulently verified the account numbers and balances of the phony escrow accounts to an official of a California company which specialized in providing bridge financing for movies (California finance company).  On the same day, the California finance company loaned $2.5 million to CityScope and transmitted the funds by wire, specifying that the funds were to be used solely for movie expenses.

In early 2011, Odom’s house was sold in a foreclosure proceeding to the mortgage lender, and Odom was faced with moving or eviction. Odom admitted that he used the bridge loan funds to spend $821,000 to purchase his home back from the lender, approximately $60,000 to buy two cars, approximately $6,000 to take his family on the “Exotic Western Caribbean Cruise” by Carnival Cruise, approximately $90,000 in transfers to family members, and another approximately $75,000 in personal expenses.  Odom also paid some pre-production movie expenses.  Clements received $200,000 from the bridge loan proceeds.  Dunn received only the promise of money.

Odom did not repay the bridge loan.  The California finance company prepared to have the bank repay the loan from the purported escrow account, leaving messages for Dunn at the bank, which he then passed on to Clements.  Clements, posing as Dunn, falsely told the company that the loan repayment had been sent to CityScope, and Odom said that CityScope had not received the funds and sent a demand letter to the Baltimore bank.  When the California finance company was not repaid the loan, it sued Odom and others to recover its loan. Because of the allegations contained in the civil suit, Odom believed that criminal charges would be brought against Clements, and he told Clements his fears. Clements was engaged in another loan fraud and received proceeds of $4 million. In August 2011, Clements transferred $2 million to CityScope, which Odom used to partially repay the California finance company.

On April 28, 2017, Clements was sentenced to 18 months in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, and on September 8, 2017, Dunn was sentenced to 30 weekends of incarceration and a fine of $2,000.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Christy Goldsmith Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); and Eric M. Thorson, Inspector General for the Department of the Treasury.

 

Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the FBI, SIGTARP, and the Treasury Inspector General for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joyce K. McDonald and Rachel M. Yasser, who prosecuted the case.

Angelo Louissaint, 42, West Babylon, New York, and Jennifer Johnson, 42, West Babylon, New York, were sentenced after having been convicted of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud.  The convictions were for their role in a mortgage fraud scheme that victimized Flaherty Funding, a mortgage company located in Rochester, New York. Louissaint was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Johnson was sentenced to five years probation to include six months home detention.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who handled the case, stated that the defendants worked together to prepare false mortgage applications in the names of straw buyers and used fraudulent supporting documents. Louissaint and Johnson worked together with another individual, against whom charges remain pending, to concoct the scheme to obtain mortgage loans from Flaherty Funding using fraudulent information. As a result of the scam, the defendants successfully obtained approximately $1,200,000 in loans, and sought an additional $900,000 for loans that ultimately did not close.

Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that The sentencings are the culmination of efforts by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Shelly Binkowski; the United States Postal Inspection Service, New York Division; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Adam S. Cohen, Special Agent-in-Charge.

Robert Jon Schlyer, 47, Portage, Indiana, a lawyer licensed to practice in Illinois, was convicted on federal fraud charges for scheming to provide falsified documents to prevent foreclosure on a nearly $2 million parcel of land in Aurora.  The fraud left an elderly couple out of $300,000.  The jury in federal court in Chicago convicted Schlyer of two counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, and one count of bank fraud.

Schlyer’s fraud scheme occurred while representing two clients, co-schemers Kevin Lebeau and Brian Bodie, in connection with a foreclosure lawsuit.  Evidence at trial revealed that Schlyer provided false and fraudulent documents to an elderly couple and Amcore Bank in order to postpone foreclosure on the Aurora property.

The jury returned the guilty verdicts on October 6, 2017, after a four-day trial.  U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve set sentencing for January 31, 2018, at 9:15 a.m.  Each count carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

According to evidence at trial, in 2004 Amcore Bank received a mortgage on the 10.4-acre property in Aurora after issuing a $1.9 million loan for the refinancing and redevelopment of the property.  Lebeau and Bodie executed a full personal guarantee for the loan.  By the fall of 2005, Lebeau and Bodie had failed to make the required payments, the loan was in default, and the bank filed a foreclosure lawsuit to seize the property.

During the scheme, Schlyer, who acted as Lebeau’s and Bodie’s attorney in the foreclosure suit, obtained $300,000 from an elderly retired couple by providing them with fake documents that made it seem like they were making a safe investment in the redevelopment and that it would be secured by a trust.  Schlyer also claimed to be the trustee of the purported trust.  In reality, there was no trust and Schlyer was not a trustee.  Schlyer and his co-schemers also concealed from the elderly couple the foreclosure suit and LeBeau’s and Bodie’s inability to pay the bank debt.  A portion of funds obtained from the elderly couple through the fraud was used to pay down the bank loan.

Together with his co-schemers, Schlyer furnished fraudulent and fabricated documents to the bank, including forged documents that made it appear that investors had committed approximately $1.5 million to the redevelopment of the property.  Eventually the foreclosure occurred, and the property was sold in 2010 at a significant loss to the bank.

LeBeau, of Aurora, and Bodie, of Chicago, were previously convicted in the case and are awaiting sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert W. Gettleman.

The conviction was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and John P. Selleck, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kartik K. Raman and Amarjeet S. Bhachu.

Ignacio Beato, 46, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge James M. Munley to 51 months’ imprisonment, followed by three months supervised release for conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions through a financial institution, with funds that were the proceeds of wire fraud.

According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Beato, who was a licensed realtor, falsely represented to potential purchasers that he was authorized to sell vacant conventional and Federal Housing Administration insured mortgaged properties in Hazleton, when in fact, he did not have such authority. Between December 2013 and March 2015, Beato accepted $751,082 from individuals who believed they were purchasing properties.  Beato then fraudulently converted that money to his own personal use.

Judge Munley ordered Beato to pay restitution in the amount of $65,000. The reduced restitution amount was due to a number of factors including the fact that some victims were not able to be located and others have filed civil lawsuits attempting to regain their funds. The Internal Revenue Service also previously forfeited $35,000 from Beato’s bank accounts.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts prosecuted the case.

Robert Pena, 68, Falmouth, Massachusetts, pled guilty in federal court in Boston in connection with defrauding the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) out of approximately $2.5 million. Pena pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud.  U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing for January 5, 2018.

Pena was president and founder of the now-defunct mortgage company, Mortgage Security Inc. (MSI), which contracted with Ginnie Mae to pool eligible residential mortgage loans and then sell Ginnie Mae-backed mortgage bonds to investors.  MSI was responsible for servicing the loans in the pools it created, including collecting principal and interest payments from borrowers, as well as loan payoffs, and placing those funds into accounts held in trust by Ginnie Mae, which would ultimately pass them along to investors.  Among other things, Ginnie Mae required issuers like MSI to provide regular reports concerning the status of the loans in the pools.

Beginning in 2011, Pena began diverting money that borrowers were sending to MSI.  Specifically, Pena deposited high-dollar, loan-payoff checks into bank accounts unknown to Ginnie Mae and then used those funds for personal and business expenses.  Pena also diverted borrowers’ escrow funds and mortgage-insurance premiums for his own use.  In total, Pena took approximately $2.5 million, which Ginnie Mae then had to pay to the investors whose investments it had guaranteed.  Pena also attempted to cover up his scheme by providing false reports to Ginnie Mae about the status of the loans MSI was servicing.

The charging statues provide for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss.

Acting United States Attorney William D. Weinreb; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office; and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement.  Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General; the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General; and the Falmouth Police Department.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian LaMacchia of Weinreb’s Civil Division is prosecuting the case.

Kevin Frank Rasher, 45, Orange County, California, was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison Friday for fraudulently taking $2.2 million from distressed homeowners based on false promises that he could help them avoid foreclosure by obtaining modifications to their mortgages.   Rasher, who has been in custody since his arrest at his Coto de Caza residence over a year ago, pled guilty to 12 counts of mail fraud in May. Rasher was sentenced by United States District Judge Josephine L. Staton who also ordered him to pay $2.24 million in restitution to his victims.

According to court documents, Rasher admitted that, between 2011 and March 2016, he falsely told distressed homeowners that he was an employee of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and/or an attorney, and that the homeowners had been approved for a reduced mortgage payment or interest rate. Rasher then instructed the homeowners to mail their mortgage payments to one of his businesses, claiming that he would forward the money to the homeowners’ mortgage lenders. Instead of forwarding the money to the mortgage lenders, Rasher deposited the money into his bank accounts and used it to pay his own personal expenses.

Rasher admitted that he fraudulently obtained approximately $2.24 million from more than 500 victims.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP); the United States Postal Inspection Service; the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of the Inspector General; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case against Rasher was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rosalind Wang and Robert J. Keenan of the Santa Ana Branch Office.

David Harris Lavine, 58, Rockville, Maryland, was indicted by a grand jury on charges of theft of bank funds by a bank officer and bank fraud and Lavine and Charles L. Tobias, 56, Potomac, Maryland were indicted for conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and tax evasion.

From March 2010 until January 2011, Lavine was the Acting President of CFG Community Bank.  From January 2011 until August 2011, Lavine was president of the bank affiliate, Capital Financial Ventures, LLC. According to the indictment, Lavine, while acting President, diverted $100,000 of bank funds to his own benefit.  The indictment also charges that while president of the bank affiliate, Lavine devised a scheme to defraud CFG Community Bank, a state member bank supervised by the Federal Reserve Board, through the re-finance of bank-owned mortgage loans and the diversion of loan proceeds to his personal benefit and the benefit of a friend.

According to court documents, Lavine used his position at Capital Financial Ventures to pose as the CEO/President of CFG Community Bank. For example, Lavine invited the borrowers of two loans with balances totaling over $7.5 million, to refinance those loans with other financial institutions for a lower mortgage and pay off CFG Community Bank.  At Lavine’s direction, the settlement company sent the mortgage loan payoff not to CFG Community Bank but to another company so that Lavine could divert in excess of $775,000.   Lavine created false correspondence with the loan borrowers to provide to CFG Community Bank to conceal the diversion from CFG Community Bank.

According to the indictment, Lavine and Tobias owned Capital T Partners Brookfield, LLC, a Maryland limited liability corporation. In the fall 2011, Lavine and Tobias decided to realize a profit from a group of non-performing mortgages by fraudulently “donating” some of the mortgages to a charity as an in-kind donation and thereby receiving a valuable tax deduction for Capital T Partners Brookfield which would pass through to their personal income tax returns.  Lavine is also charged with tax evasion for two years for failing to report the monies he received through the bank offenses and using the fraudulent charitable contribution as a deduction.  Tobias is charged with tax evasion for failing to report income and also using the fraudulent charitable deduction.

The maximum possible penalties for the bank offenses are thirty years in prison and/or a $1 million fine per count and 5 years in prison and /or $250,000 per count for the tax charges.

The indictment was announced by Acting United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Stephen M. Schenning; Special Agent in Charge Gordon B. Johnson of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Kimberly Lappin of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation; Assistant Inspector General Gerald Maye of the Federal Reserve Board Office of Inspector General and Special Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General.

Acting United States Attorney Stephen M. Schenning commended the IRS, FBI, the Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and SSA-IG for their work in the investigation.  Mr. Schenning thanked Assistant United States Attorney Joyce K. McDonald who is prosecuting the case.

Kwame Insaidoo, 61, Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, the former executive director of United Block Association (“UBA”), a New York-based non-profit organization, was sentenced to 48 months in prison and his wife and Roxanne Isaidoo, 63, Bay Shore, Long Island, New York, was sentenced to 30 months in prison, in connection with their embezzlement of over $580,000 from UBA, defrauding their mortgage lender of approximately $200,000, and related crimes.  They were convicted on May 2, 2017, following a one-week jury trial before United States District Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who also imposed today’s sentence.

According to the Indictment, other filings in Manhattan federal court, and the evidence admitted at trial:

In 2011, Kwame Insaidoo and Roxanne Isaidoo engaged in a scheme to defraud their mortgage lender in connection with a modification of their mortgage under the federally-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program, by underreporting their income and assets, including the hundreds of thousands of dollars they had embezzled from UBA.  This scheme led to a write-off of almost $200,000 from Kwame Insaidoo and Roxanne Isaidoo’s home mortgage.

UBA was a non-profit organization headquartered in New York, New York, that was controlled by Kwame Insaidoo, its former Executive Director.  UBA had contracts with New York City through which it received taxpayer funds, including federal funds, to operate and provide healthy meals and programming to the elderly at four senior centers in Upper Manhattan.

As the jury found, Kwame Insaidoo abused his authority as UBA’s Executive Director to embezzle, with the assistance of his wife, Roxanne Isaidoo, over $580,000 of UBA’s funds for his own benefit and that of his wife and son.  Kwame Insaidoo and Roxanne Isaidoo concealed their embezzlement by laundering the money, in part, through a shell company that they had created.  Kwame Insaidoo and Roxanne Isaidoo used the embezzled funds to pay for personal expenses, including the mortgage for their Long Island residence and the purchase of a Mercedes Benz and a Cadillac.  They also wired more than $300,000 to family members living abroad.    

In an effort to evade scrutiny regarding the embezzled funds, Kwame Insaidoo repeatedly lied to the City, including to its auditors, in order to maintain UBA’s funding and to conceal the funds he and his wife had diverted to their shell company. 

 

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said:  “As a Manhattan jury found, Kwame Insaidoo and Roxanna Insaidoo stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from a government-funded non-profit organization dedicated to serving senior citizensThe Insaidoos enriched themselves and their family with taxpayer money that was supposed to support four senior centers in Upper Manhattan.  Now this husband-and-wife crime duo will serve time in prison for those crimes.”  

In imposing sentence, Judge Caproni stated that the “message has to be sent” that “it is not acceptable to steal money from the City that is designed for charitable goals to line your own pockets.

In addition to the prison terms imposed today by Judge Caproni, Kwame Insaidoo and Roxanne Isaidoo were ordered to forfeit a sum of $779,039.62.

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced the sentence and praised the outstanding investigative work of the New York City Department of Investigation and the Criminal Investigators of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eli J. Mark and David Zhou are in charge of the prosecution.