FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
October 16, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STRAW PURCHASER IN MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME SENTENCED
TO 2 YEARS IN PRISON
Bought 7 Properties With False Documents
and Obtained Over $4 Million in Fraudulent Mortgages
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Sabrina Weinberg, age 44, of Bethesda, Maryland, today to two years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for mail fraud arising from a multi-million dollar mail fraud scheme to purchase numerous properties in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, using fraudulent mortgage and loan applications, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Motz also entered a restitution order against Weinberg for $2,551,698.
According to Weinberg’s plea agreement and other court documents, Osman Al-Bari, along with his sister Jamilah Al-Bari, Terrence White, Timothy Reed, Kara McIntosh and others, paid straw purchasers, including Sabrina Weinberg, $10,000 per property to purchase houses for them. Weinberg was also told that she would receive an additional $10,000 per property once the property was sold. From February 2006 to October 2006, Weinberg purchased seven properties with mortgages totaling $4,692,836. Kara McIntosh acted as the mortgage broker and created loan applications for those purchases which misrepresented Weinberg’s income and assets. For example, on several mortgage documents, Weinberg’s income was stated to be over $15,500 per month when Weinberg, McIntosh, Reed, and others knew that she did not have such income. Al-Bari and others had the straw buyers claim large account balances at banks and had Jamilah Al-Bari, who worked at one of the banks, send “verification letters” falsely confirming that the straw buyers had such assets.
Al-Bari, White and Reed also created false invoices to claim that their company, Brotherly Investment Group, performed “renovations” on some of the properties, including the Weinberg properties. Using these false invoices, the co-conspirators were “repaid” at closing for the purported renovations, even though all participants in this scheme knew that no such renovations were done.
The conspirators repeated this fraud scheme with over 15 straw buyers and approximately 25 properties in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. From 2006 to 2008, Al-Bari, White, Reed and others received approximately $3,830,418 in fraudulent funds. Many of the purchased properties have been foreclosed upon. Weinberg was held accountable at sentencing for up to $2.5 million in losses from the scheme.
Jamilah Al-Bari, age 37, of District Heights, Maryland; Timothy Reed, age 44, of Beltsville; Terrence White, age 36, of Oxon Hill;and Kara McIntosh, age 47, of Bethesda, have all pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with their participation in this scheme and are scheduled to be sentenced in the next two months. Osman Sharrieff Al-Bari, age 35, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced on October 5, 2009, to 78 months in prison.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office - Economic Crimes Unit and the U.S. Secret Service for their investigative work and assistance. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney Kwame J. Manley, who prosecuted the case.