Akbar Bhamani, 61, Carmichael, California, the head of a Sacramento, California, real estate investment firm, has been sentenced to 48 months in prison for duping investors by promising that deeds of trust would be secured on properties in which the investor would be in no worse than second or third position and that the indebtedness on the property would never exceed 70 percent of the value of the property.
The defendant was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley for two counts of selling unregistered securities. He was sentenced to 49 months on one count and 48 months on the second count, to be served consecutively. Judge Nunley also ordered Bhamani to pay restitution, the amount of which will be determined at a later proceeding.
As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Bhamani was the founder and chief executive officer of Heaven Investment Holding Corp., a Sacramento firm that was family owned and operated. From February 2007 to August 2008, Bhamani and his employees solicited investors to participate in its investment programs, including the Tenants in Common, or TIC program. The TIC program was to use investor money to develop four properties, including a hotel in Oakland, California.
Heaven Investments Holding Corp. sold fractionalized ownership interests to investors in each of the properties. These fractionalized interests qualified as securities, which Bhamani never registered with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission. Authorities said investors lost between $2.5 million and $7 million.
The remaining defendants have pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
The case resulted from an investigation by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.