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L.N. Man Pleads Guilty to Helping Swindle $1M From Mortgage Company

Kian Ashkanizadeh, a 49-year-old, of Laguna Niguel, and Simon Saeid Koli, 41, of San Diego, admitted to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering in federal court Friday.

A Laguna Niguel man, along with a San Diego man, helped swindle a mortgage company out of almost $1 million both pleaded guilty today in federal court, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Kian Ashkanizadeh, 49, of Laguna Niguel admitted to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering on July 9. Simon Saeid Koli, 41, a co-defendant from San Diego, entered a guilty plea to the same charge. 

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, the men had friends and family
members put their names and signatures on faked mortgage loan applications for
four expensive houses in Carlsbad.

They then collected $200,000 in consulting fees and $45,000 in construction fees per house from New Century Mortgage, prosecutors said. They said the money, totaling $980,000, was funneled through their friends and family bank accounts before it went to the defendants.

Prosecutors described the fees as a "sham'" and "fraudulent.'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Clark said the firm is now out of business, but he didn't know if the defendant's scheme was the cause.

U.S. District Judge Irma Gonzalez is scheduled to sentence the men on
Oct. 26. They face up to five years in prison and fines.

They could face up to 5 years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or twice the gross pecuniary gain or twice the gross pecuniary loss (whichever is greatest), $100 special assessment, and 3 years of supervised release.

--City News Service

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