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Auto dealership owners charged with bank fraud

POSTED April 22, 2011 8:55 p.m.

Four Stanislaus County men and one Fresno County man, all connected with local auto dealerships, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations of bank fraud.

Abdel Baset Jawad, 36, Abdul Muniem Mohamed Jawad, 37,  Najeh Kamal Jawad, 49, and Husam Sarama, 27, all of Stanislaus County, and Hussein Ali, 52, of Fresno County, were indicted on charges of  conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The Jawad brothers were owners and operators of various used auto dealerships in Stanislaus and Merced counties. Ali and Sarama were employees at the dealerships, according to the Department of Justice.

The indictment alleges that the men conspired to prepare misleading and false financial information that in turn was submitted to financial institutions, in order to obtain financing for customers.

In some instances the defendants entered fictitious information on loan applications including the names of employers for which the customers did not work, or, if the customers were employed, inflated earnings amounts, according to the DOJ. As part of the alleged conspiracy, Ali’s business was used as a fictitious employer or provided fictitious earning statements for customers of the car dealerships. Some of the customers signed these loan applications, while others had no knowledge of how their signatures appeared on the applications.

 “Because of the defendants’ conduct, financial institutions approved loans to customers who otherwise should not have received financing,” said DOJ spokesperson Lauren Horwood.

As customers were approved for loans, the dealerships would in turn receive the money as payment for the purchased vehicles. In some instances, customers defaulted on the loan provided by the financial institution and the financial institution sustained a monetary loss.

The indictment released Thursday was a superseding indictment of a previous one lodged against the three brothers and Armando Fathic Abdullah, 41, of Madera. Abdullah pleaded guilty to count one on Dec. 10, 2009 and is set for sentencing on June 6.

The five defendants listed in the superseding indictment are scheduled to appear in court on May 20.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

 
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