Used Car Dealership Owner Sentenced For Defrauding Navy Federal
NORFOLK, Va. – Andysheh Ayatollahi, 36, formerly of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today to 74 months in prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $980,541.43 in restitution for conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud and filing a false tax return.
Ayatollahi pleaded guilty on March 14, 2016. According to court documents, in July 2007 Ayatollahi purchased a 50 percent interest in the Car Store, a used car dealership located in Virginia Beach. From then until May 2008, when the Car Store closed, Ayatollahi conspired with others, including Car Store personnel, to defraud Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU). Ayatollahi and his co-conspirators engaged in fraudulent practices that included using individuals as straw buyers/borrowers to apply to NFCU for car loans because the actual buyers were not sufficiently creditworthy to qualify for a car loan. Ayatollahi also submitted fraudulent car loan applications to NFCU with false supporting documents; made telephone calls to NFCU impersonating buyers applying for car loans; provided false employer telephone numbers to NFCU and then impersonated the employer while verifying the applicant’s employment and wages; and fraudulently inflated the true purchase price of vehicles and split the excess with the buyers. In total, Ayatollahi fraudulently caused NFCU to issue 61 car loans with a total loan amount of $1,168,904.97. Most of these loans went into default, resulting in a loss to NFCU of approximately $867,448.43. Additionally, Ayatollahi filed false tax returns with the IRS that underreported his income for tax years 2005-2007, resulting in a tax loss of $113,093.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; John S. Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office; and Thomas Jankowski, Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Salsbury prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:10cr15.