An Ashburn jeweler has been sentenced to 52 months in prison for his role in a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme.
According to a release from the Department of Justice, Robert Mikail, 41, of Ashburn was involved in fraudulent mortgage loan transactions with 36 properties in Northern Virginia, resulting in $20 million in fraudulently obtained loans.
Mikail worked with others, including loan officers Bing-Sing "Cindy" Wang and Gin-Hwang "Felicia" Tsoa, to profit from the mortgages loans. Mikail recruited five people, known as "straw buyers," to act as purchasers in buying of local residential real estate. Working with the loan officers, he falsified information on the straw buyers' loan applications to get them approved and close the transactions; the loan applications all listed Opus Jewelry, Mikail's Ashburn store, as the employer of all the loan applicants. Mikail would then falsely verify this to lenders.
In total, from 2005 to 2007, Mikail purchased 36 homes in and around Loudoun through the ploy and obtained $20 million in loan proceeds. Mikail personally earned $882,387, and the loans all defaulted, losing lenders $6 million.
Tsoa, formally a loan officer at First Empire Mortgage in Fairfax and Lieftime Financial Services in Herndon, was convicted of conspiracy and bank fraud charges in November and will be sentenced next month. Wang, the owner of Lifetime Financial Services, pleaded guilty in Nov. 2012 and was sentenced to 24 months in prison on Feb. 26, 2013.
In addition to his 52 months incarceration, the Eastern District of Virginia federal court also sentenced Mikail to three years of supervised release following his incarceration, and he must pay $6 million in restitution to the lenders he defrauded. He also had to forfeit the $882,387 he personally profited to the government.