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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sept. 9, 2011


Gates Mills Resident Convicted in $6.7 Million Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy

Louis Amir was convicted on 21 counts following a jury trial for his role in a $6.7 million mortgage fraud conspiracy, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Amir, 37, of Gates Mills, Ohio, used the money he illegally obtained through his schemes to buy luxury items, including high-end speakers, a plasma television, a Rolls-Royce and a Bentley automobile, among other items, according to court documents.

"The impact of mortgage fraud is foreclosed homes and blighted neighborhoods," Dettelbach said. "My office remains committed to prosecuting those who commit these crimes."

Amir was found guilty of one count of conspiracy, six counts of wire fraud, 13 counts of money laundering, and one count of perjury.

Amir, aided and abetted by two others, fraudulently applied for and obtained six mortgage loans totaling approximately $6.7 million dollars to finance the purchase of a residence at 1860 Surrey Place, in Gates Mills, Ohio. This took place between December 2006 and January 2007, according to court documents.

He purchased that residence around that time for approximately $2 million. He then delayed filing the warranty deed relating to the purchase of the residence to avoid detection of their fraudulent scheme, according to court documents.

Amir and two others caused four mortgage lenders to issue loans far in excess of the true market value of the Gates Mills property. The indictment alleges that, as a result of this fraudulent conduct by the defendants, the lenders sustained losses totaling approximately $6.7 million, according to court documents.

He also engaged in 13 financial transactions with the proceeds of the fraudulent mortgage loan activities in violation of the anti-money laundering statute.

For example, on December 22, 2006, Amir issued a personal check to Deirdre Ferguson for $100,000 and caused a wire transfer of approximately $2 million to Beachwood Title Inc., a business owned and operated by Ferguson. On that same day, Amir purchased an official check for approximately $103,000 to purchase a Bentley motor vehicle. Amir also purchased plasma televisions, speakers, and accessories for about $96,000 on February 15, 2007. He paid nearly $164,000 to lease a Rolls Royce on April 30, 2007, according to court documents.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bridget M. Brennan and John D. Sammon, following a joint investigation by the Cleveland Offices of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General.

Amir's sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 18




Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio

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