News

Leader in Mortgage Fraud Scheme Sentenced To over 6 Years in Prison


Conspirators Paid Over 15 Straw Purchasers to Buy 25 Properties With False Documents
and Obtained Over $3.8 Million in Fraud Proceeds

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2009

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz sentenced Osman Sharrieff Al-Bari, age 35, of Washington, D.C., today to 78 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for mail fraud arising from the fraudulent purchase of 25 properties in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to his plea agreement, Al-Bari was a leader in the scheme in which he, along with his sister Jamilah Al-Bari, Terrence White, Timothy Reed and others, paid straw purchasers $10,000 per property to purchase houses for them. Many of the loan applications for the straw buyers misrepresented the buyers’ income and assets. 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. Using these false invoices, Al-Bari and his co-conspirators were “repaid” at closing for the purported renovations.

Al-Bari and others 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. Al-Bari is responsible for $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; Sabrina Weinberg, age 44 and Kara McIntosh, age 47, both 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.

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.

 

 

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