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Press Release

Warren man sentenced to nearly four years in prison for bank fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A man from Warren, Ohio, was sentenced to 45 months in prison for defrauding banks out of approximately $2.5 million through fraudulent short sales of gas stations in the Youngstown area and by other means, law enforcement officials said.

Shaukat Sindhu, 56, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue Service, and one count of marriage fraud.

“This defendant acted like the rules did not apply to him,” Acting U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said. “He engaged in multiple fraud schemes, using his friends and family members without regard to the consequences.  This sentence should send a message that fraud and deceit will be punished in the Northern District of Ohio.”

“Attempting to skirt your income tax obligations by using multiple Social Security numbers, dealing in cash, and concealing income and assets in the names of nominees is a recipe for criminal prosecution,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.

"Sindhu engaged in numerous illegal financial transactions in an effort to enrich himself.  He will be residing in a prison cell instead of his fraudulently obtained 13 bedroom home.  The FBI, along with our partners, will continue to root out fraudsters and hold them accountable for their deceitful actions," said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Office.

Sindhu owned several gas stations and other commercial property, but failed to make mortgage payments on these properties. Sindhu and others defrauded First Midwest and Consumers National banks by making false and misleading representations about ownership of the properties between 2008 and 2014, using a false identity, and creating a fictional Middle Easter investor that Sindhu used to create the illusion there was an independent buyer for the properties at a significant discount. Tahir Iqbal of Crown Point, Indiana, acted as a straw buyer for Sindhu in a short sale, enriching Sindhu by reducing or eliminating the principle owned on the properties, according to court documents.  Iqbal was sentenced to 12 months and 1 day for his role in the bank fraud conspiracy.

Iqbal also served as a straw buyer for Sindhu for a 16,800-square foot, nine-bedroom, 13-bathroom home in Oak Brook, Illinois. That home was forfeited as part of the plea agreement.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chelsea Rice, Adam Hollingsworth and James Morford following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations and U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.



Updated July 5, 2016

Financial Fraud