Gihan Ahmed Ismail Zalat aka Gigi Zalat, 41, Columbus, Ohio, was sentenced to four years in prison for her role in a mortgage fraud flipping scheme. Zalat pleaded guilty to three counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and five counts of money laundering, according to media reports. As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Zalat and Scott McCann, 45, Columbus, Ohio, were separately indicted in February 2008 for a mortgage fraud scheme involving several Ohio properties. Zalat and McCann are charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated theft, money laundering and receiving stolen property.
Zalat is a former co-owner of the Happy Greek restaurant, South Campus Gateway, Ohio. McCann is a real-estate agent and former mortgage broker. The scheme took place between 2005 and 2007, and involved false documentation and misrepresentations in loan applications, property flips, the use of inflated appraisals and unauthorized kickbacks disguised as construction monies for home improvement. The 6 Ohio properties included in the indictment (partially redacted) are:
XXX9 Loch Levin;
XXX2 Grennan Woods;
XXX8 Willow Bend Lane;
XXX8 Coldwater Drive;
XXX2 Sierra Drive;
XXX7 Royal County Down; and
XXX5 Coachmen, all of the Dublin and Powell area, Ohio.
According to the indictment, the monies obtained in the scheme were laundered through oversea shell corporations in an effort to disguise the origin of the funds.