SCV Woman Arrested In $1.5 Mil. Real Estate Fraud Scheme
On October 2, 2012, three Los Angeles area residents were indicted by a Federal Grand Jury in connection with a complex scheme that defrauded Bank of America and Fidelity National Title Company out of $1.5 million.
On October 5, 2012, the suspects were arrested at their homes by detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Real Estate Fraud Team, and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles.
The suspects are identified as:
Saliya “Sal” DeSilva, male, 49, of Northridge;
Nora Yefima, female, 50, of Santa Clarita;
Vahe Hayrapetian, 45, of Burbank.
In July, 2009, the owner of a residential property on Gould Avenue in La Canada-Flintridge defaulted on $3.5 million in loans which were secured by the property.
Bank of America foreclosed on the property and took possession of it. In February, 2010, it is alleged that Saliya “Sal” DeSilva contacted Bank of America posing as the prior owner, provided Bank of America with counterfeit documents, and convinced Bank of America that the foreclosure was improper.
As a result, Bank of America rescinded the foreclosure, and DeSilva, a licensed real estate salesperson, listed the property for sale without the consent or knowledge of the prior owner.
In August, 2011, the property was eventually sold in a fraudulent short sale transaction after a title insurance company was given false information regarding the condition of the property, and was provided with counterfeit documents, including a fake Bank of America Short Sale Approval Letter stating that Bank of America had approved a sales price of $250,000.
The buyer used Loan Broker Vahe Hayrapetian to obtain a $1.5 million loan for the “purchase,” and the funds were wire transferred by the lender to Oshana Escrow in Encino.
It is alleged that Loan Broker Vahe Hayrapetian submitted materially false and fraudulent documents to the lender order to secure the $1.5 million loan.
It is also alleged that the owner of Oshana Escrow, Nora Yefima, sent false documents to the title insurance company, wire transferred a relatively small portion of the loan funds to the title insurance company for the fraudulent short sale, and then disbursed the rest of the funds, an amount exceeding $1 million, to several other parties who had nothing to do with the transaction.
The buyer of the property then defaulted on the loan which was fraudulently obtained by Vahe Hayrapetian, and since Bank of America never approved the short sale and continues to assert the validity of their $3.5 million in liens, there is insufficient equity in the property to compensate the subsequent lender for their $1.5 million loss. Fidelity National Title Company insured the lender and may have to reimburse them for the loss.
The charges in this case include Bank Fraud and Wire Fraud, United States District Court Central District of California, case numbers CR12-0959 and CR12-0960.
The investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Real Estate Fraud Team, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.