|An accountant has been charged with running what prosecutors have described as a clearinghouse for fake documents -- including phony pay stubs -- used to obtain mortgages, loans and federal assistance.
Abrar Haque, 44, of Berea, a Cleveland suburb, was selling the bogus documents for $75 to $300, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Cleveland. He has been charged along with 15 others in a 79-count federal indictment. The charges against Haque include racketeering, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, health care fraud and conspiracy.
Also charged were Haque's wife, Nuzaira Haque, and two of his business partners, Mohammed Shahabuddin and Omar Abedrabbo. Ten employees, former employees and clients of Haque's accounting firm were also charged with offenses that include wire fraud, mail fraud, false statements and aiding and abetting immigration fraud.
In addition to running an accounting business, Haque is also one of the founders of a Cleveland area mosque and Islamic school. The charges against him include allowing school employees to avoid paying taxes by not withholding taxes from their salaries.
"Haque and several of his employees ... conspired between themselves and with certain other employees, clients and customers of the accounting business to conduct the affairs of the enterprise, Abrar CPA Inc., through a pattern of racketeering activity," prosecutors said in a statement.
Haque allegedly ran an operation that created false payroll records, tax returns, income statements, immigration documents and tax information. The documents were used to illegally acquire mortgages, take out loans, qualify for Medicaid and bring illegal immigrants into the country, according to the indictment.
The 65-page indictment shows how Haque and his accomplices allegedly ran the criminal enterprise.
For $300 Haque would prepare a false income statement. The price for a fake pay stub was $75.
Ziad Sumrain, 45, who is charged with bank and wire fraud, allegedly used false federal income returns prepared by Haque to apply for mortgage loans with Option One Mortgage and Flagstar Bank. The tax returns "materially overstated Sumrain's income," according to the indictment.
Sumrain used the documents sold by Haque to obtain a $175,000 refinance mortgage loan from Option One Mortgage and an $183,300 mortgage from Flagstar Bank.
In another instance Ameed Abuzahrieh "obtained a mortgage refinance loan for approximately $200,800 from All State Mortgage (broker) and Option One Mortgage Corp. (lender) with false and fraudulent income documents, including copies of federal tax returns and pay stubs provided by Abrar Haque," according to the indictment.
Abuzahrieh has been charged with wire fraud.
Other mortgage loans that prosecutors allege were fraudulent obtained were for $91,744, $399,200 and $49,900.
Haque's lawyer could not be reached to comment.