DOJ Seal Department of Justice  
United States Attorney John M. Bales
Eastern District of Texas


THURSDAY, APRIL 1, 2010            PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER             CELL: (409) 553-9881 DIRECT: (409) 981-7902


Real Estate Investor ordered to pay over $4.1 million in restitution

            SHERMAN, Texas - U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that a 38-year-old Grapevine, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas. 

            ESSHAN SAMUEL "Sam" AGHA pleaded guilty on Oct. 19, 2009, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Marcia Crone.  Agha was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,127,131.50.

            According to information presented in court, from Oct. 2005 to Feb. 2008, Agha, a real estate investor, devised a scheme in which he solicited others to buy homes that in most cases were in fact owned by himself or an unnamed co-conspirator.  A smaller number of homes were also owned by a third party for whom Agha brokered the sales.  Agha facilitated the scheme by making false statements that included misrepresentations such as overstating the buyers' income and stating that the buyers intended to occupy the homes as their primary residence.  All of the loans involved in the scheme went into default when the buyers failed to make the mortgage payments on the homes, which included 24 properties in Collin County and one in Tarrant County.

            This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

            President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.  The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

            These cases were investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Andrew Williams.


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