SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) - Two Southern California men were sentenced to federal prison and ordered to pay a total of $17 million in restitution for their part in a mortgage scheme that led to the fraudulent purchase of more than 100 condominium units.
The Orange County Register reports 32-year-old Maher Obagi on Tuesday received a 6½-year sentence after being convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud. Forty-three-year-old Mohamed Salah was found guilty of conspiracy and sentenced to nearly five years.
Prosecutors say their scheme involved kickbacks from condominium builders during the 2008 financial crisis. Officials say they bought condos at a discounted price from struggling developers. The developers would benefit because it appeared the units were successfully selling, while the co-conspirators collected substantial commissions.
Five others were also charged for their part in the scheme.
Information from: The Orange County Register, http://www.ocregister.com
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