Brandon Azadegan, 29, Phoenix, Arizona, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for an April 2009 conviction for his role as an investor selling four homes to a straw buyer. Azadegan pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and one count of Transactional Money Laundering. Six other co-conspirators have pleaded guilty for their involvement in the conspiracy. Gheorge Babeti was sentenced to 14 months in federal prison in August 2009. The remaining defendants will be sentenced in the next few months.
Azadegan sold his four homes to Babeti, a straw buyer who submitted loan applications to lenders containing false information. Other co-conspirators received cash back at closing. In addition to purchasing Azadegan’s four homes, Babeti purchased six others. All went into foreclosure.
Dennis K. Burke, U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, highlighted the significance of this sentence, stating that, “Mortgage fraud has had a devastating impact on property values, lending institutions, and entire neighborhoods in our community. It has resulted in the loss of tax revenues and jobs. To those who engage in mortgage fraud-particularly real estate industry professionals in which the public places trust-you can expect that we are taking these cases very seriously and we will strongly urge prison sentences where appropriate.”
The investigation in this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by Kevin M. Rapp and James R. Knapp Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.