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May 23, 2013

President Of San Francisco Based DAJA International Pleads Guilty To Making False Statements In A Loan Application

SAN FRANCISCO - Jacqueline Besser pleaded guilty, yesterday, to making false statements in a loan application, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.

In pleading guilty, Besser admitted that in October 2010, as the president of DAJA International, LLC ("DAJA"), she applied to Community Bank of the Bay ("CBB") for a loan and a line of credit for DAJA. Besser was to be the guarantor of that loan and line of credit.

According to her plea agreement, Besser admitted that as part of the application process, she submitted various documents to CBB between approximately June 20, 2010, and approximately September 30, 2010 that included false statements. The documents included personal financial statements, a Small Business Administration application, a business debt schedule, and corporate financial statements. These documents required Besser to list, among other things, all of the outstanding loans, liens, and any other money owed by her, and all of the outstanding loans, liens, and any other money owed by DAJA. When she submitted these documents, however, Besser intentionally failed to report approximately $500,000 in outstanding loans to her company, DAJA, and to her, either individually or jointly with her husband.

Based on the documentation Besser provided, CBB approved the loan and extended a $1.75 million term loan and a $100,000 line of credit to DAJA.

In November 2011, DAJA filed for bankruptcy, and in December 2011, Besser filed for bankruptcy. At the time of these bankruptcy filings, DAJA owed approximately $1.7 million in principal, interest, and late charges on the CBB note, and approximately $114,109 in principal, interest, and late charges on the CBB line of credit.

Besser, 60, of San Francisco, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to a bank in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1014.

The sentencing of Besser is scheduled for September 3, 2013, before The Honorable William Alsup U.S. District Court Judge. The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1014, is 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, plus restitution. However, any sentence would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. 3553.

Jonathan Schmidt and Benjamin Kingsley are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Marina Ponomarchuk, Rayneisha Booth, and Colleen Cushnie. The prosecution is the result of a one-year investigation by the Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General.

Source: United States Attorney for the Northern District of California

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