Santa Ana – On Fri., Oct. 17, Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 65, of Newport Beach, was sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiring to commit real estate fraud, including 13 felony counts of forgery, five counts of conspiracy to commit a crime, identity theft, and grand theft.
According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Shah and family members, recruited friends and family to become pretend, or “straw buyers,” by forging loan applications with false information in order to procure loans on a number of properties in Orange County, to the tune of more than $16 million.
Through the falsification of deeds and loan documents from 2006 to 2009, funding for 15 properties – all approved by Washington Mutual Bank – was obtained, with those straw buyers never planning on controlling the properties.
The Shah’s businesses, New Age Realty, First Property Escrow, City First Realty, and Associates Investments Group, located in Tustin, came under scrutiny following a complaint by a realtor. Three other family members involved in these crimes were previously convicted and sentenced.