A federal grand jury in Sacramento today returned a 12-count indictment in a mortgage fraud scheme that reportedly used straw buyers to purchase properties in communities including Elk Grove and Sacramento.
The indictment charges Surjit Singh, 66, of the East Bay community of Dublin, his son, Rajeshwar Singh, 38, of Pleasanton and Anita Sharma, 51, of Gilroy, with mail fraud, bank fraud, and false statements on a loan and credit application, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.
The indictment alleges that Surjit Singh recruited individuals with good credit to act as straw buyers for residential properties owned by his family members and associates. Rajeshwar Singh, a licensed real estate agent, allegedly assisted in the scheme by submitting loan applications for the straw buyers, who included Sharma.
The Singhs allegedly prepared and submitted applications to lenders that falsely stated the straw buyers' income, employment liabilities and intent to occupy the homes as their primary residences.
According to the indictment, the defendants were responsible for originating more than $2.1 million in residential mortgage loans. Four properties -- in Elk Grove, Sacramento, Modesto and Stockton -- are charged in the indictment. All were foreclosed on, resulting in a total loss of more than $1.2 million.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.