United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner
Eastern District of California
Owners of Own-A-Car Modesto Dealership Guilty of Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Docket #: 1:06-cr-00365 LJO
FRESNO, Calif. — After a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, a federal jury returned a verdict today finding Abdel Baset Jawad, aka Fred Jawad, 38, and his brother Abdul Muniem Mohamad Jawad, aka Manny Jawad, 39, of Modesto, guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the evidence presented at trial, the Jawad brothers owned and operated various used automobile dealerships in Stanislaus and Merced Counties, including Own-A-Car, The Auto Store, and Auction 2 U in Modesto. Employees of the dealerships would assist customers in finding a vehicle to purchase. Many of these customers, however, were in a poor financial situation and unable to qualify for a vehicle loan. In order to enable the customers to obtain financing, the Jawads, and others acting at their direction and on their behalf, conspired to assist the customers in preparing misleading and false financial information for submission to a financial institution in order to obtain financing.
In some instances the defendants conspired to enter fictitious information on loan applications including the names of employers for whom the customers did not work, or, if the customers were employed, inflated earnings amounts. Some of the customers signed these loan applications, while others had no knowledge of how their signatures appeared on the applications.
Because of the defendants’ conduct, financial institutions approved loans to customers who otherwise should not have received financing. As customers were approved for loans, the dealerships received the money as payment for the purchased vehicles.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, California Department of Justice, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, Investigations Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Mark E. Cullers and Henry Z. Carbajal III, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Megan A. S. Richards are prosecuting the case.
The Jawad brothers are scheduled to be sentenced on April 8, 2013 by Judge O’Neill. The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to commit bank fraud is 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both, a period of supervised release, forfeiture, and restitution. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.