Con Man Agrees to Plead Guilty in Three Fraud Schemes, Including Multi-Million-Dollar Ponzi and Separate Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 28, 2012|
LOS ANGELES—A Glendale man has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud charges, admitting that he ran three separate scams, including a Ponzi scheme that defrauded 30 families out of more than $8 million.
Kaveh Vahedi has also admitted his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that submitted hundreds of falsified loan applications to banks through his brokerage firm, Countywide Financial. Vahedi has also acknowledged stealing more than $700,000 from his parents by draining their bank accounts and taking out a loan on their home.
Vahedi, 51, who has been in federal custody since last May, entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors that was filed late Monday in United States District Court. Vahedi agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection with the Ponzi scheme and one count of conspiracy in relation to the mortgage fraud scheme. Vahedi also agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud to resolve a previously filed criminal case related to the fraud against his parents.
Vahedi is scheduled to plead guilty tomorrow morning before United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson. Once he pleads guilty to the three felony counts stemming from the three schemes, Vahedi will face a statutory maximum sentence of 55 years in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement, Vahedi ran an elaborate Ponzi scheme through his investment company, KGV Investments, which he used to give victims the appearance that he was a successful businessman who made hundreds of millions of dollars brokering international bond deals. He also told investors that his contacts gave him unique opportunities to invest in real estate development projects overseas, including commercial developments in China and Dubai, as well as large real estate projects in the United States. Vahedi admits in the plea agreement that he convinced more than 30 investors to give him approximately $12 million to invest on their behalf. Instead of investing the money in bond or real estate deals, Vahedi used the investors’ money for his own benefit, including to make monthly mortgage payments on several properties, luxury vehicles and private school tuition. Ultimately, investors suffered losses of more than $8 million.
Vahedi also ran a successful Glendale-based mortgage brokerage firm that he called Countywide Financial, which was an approved broker for several major lending banks including Countrywide Home Loans, Countrywide Bank, and Bank of America. (There was no connection between Vahedi’s Countywide Financial and the Calabasas-bssed Countrywide Home Loans.) Vahedi admitted in his plea agreement that he submitted at least 250 fraudulent loan applications that included falsified employment and income records to these lenders. Relying on the lies in the loan applications, as well as the forged records that were provided by Vahedi in support of these applications, lenders were duped into approving and funding millions of dollars in loans.
In addition to these crimes, Vahedi also agreed to plead guilty to one bank fraud count in a pending indictment against him related to a fraud he perpetrated against his own family. In his plea agreement, Vahedi admits that he posed as his father in order to withdraw approximately $250,000 from his parents’ bank account. He also impersonated his father and took out a $493,000 home equity loan against his parents’ home.
The cases against Vahedi are the result of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Secret Service.