Douglas E. Shaheen, 59, Stongsville, Ohio, has been charged in a four-count information with bank fraud and one count each of wire fraud and access device fraud.
The information alleges that Shaheen obtained numerous loans and credit accounts totaling more than $6 million at seven different financial institutions in his father’s name without his knowledge or consent. Specifically, count one alleges that Shaheen obtained two mortgage loans for $2 million and $700,000 on a residence in Henderson, Nevada, in September 2006, in his father’s name. The information further alleges that Shaheen refinanced those loans in March 2007 for $2,764,000 and subsequently obtained another $200,000 home equity line of credit on that residence. The information charges that Shaheen also provided false and fraudulent financial information about his father to obtain these loans. The information states that Shaheen subsequently defaulted on these home mortgage loans and Coutrywide Bank sustained a substantial loss of an undisclosed amount.
Count two of the information alleges that in October 2006 Shaheen purchased a 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL65 convertible for a total purchase price of about $202,000. The information states that Shaheen purchased this vehicle jointly in his own name as well as his father’s, again without his knowledge or authorization. The information further alleges that Shaheen financed $177,362 of this purchase price and again provided false financial information about his father as well as himself. The information charges that Shaheen defaulted on this automobile loan, surrendered the vehicle in November 2008, and the Mercedes was later resold at a substantial loss. As a result, the information states that Mercedes-Benz Financial sustained a loss of $84,888.77.
Count three of the information alleges that Shaheen opened ten credit accounts and lines of credit in his father’s name at MBNA America Bank, National City Bank, U.S. Bank, and CitiBank. The information again alleges that Shaheen provided false and fraudulent financial information about his father, he used those accounts fraudulently, and subsequently defaulted on them. As a result, the information alleges that these four financial institutions sustained losses totaling $181,212.31.
Finally, count four of the information alleges that Shaheen fraudulently opened two credit accounts in his father’s name with American Express in August 2007. The information further alleges that Shaheen fraudulently used those accounts, defaulted on the balances owed, and caused American Express to incur a loss of $56,371.80.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
William J. Edwards, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced the charges. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John D. Sammon, following an investigation by the Cleveland Office of the United States Secret Service.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.