General Crime

Ayman Shahid Sales Executive Arrested On Federal Mortgage Fraud Charges

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A home sales executive was arrested in Concord this morning on federal charges of engaging in a $154 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Ayman Shahid, 38, of Danville, the president of Discovery Sales Inc. of Concord, is charged in a federal indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 17 counts of committing bank fraud between 2006 and 2008.

The indictment was issued under seal by a federal grand jury in Oakland on Thursday and unsealed after Shahid’s arrest today.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said Shahid was arrested in Concord at 8:45 a.m. today and was scheduled to be brought before a federal magistrate in Oakland for an initial appearance at 11:30 a.m.

Discovery Sales is a sales arm of Discovery Home Builders and Albert D. Seeno Construction Co., according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that at the height of the nation’s mortgage and banking crisis in 2007, Shahid organized a scheme to cause banks to approve mortgage loans for unqualified buyers on the basis of false and misleading applications and for inflated home prices.

The total sales price of the properties was more than $227 million and the scheme caused mortgage loans worth more than $154 million to go into foreclosure or short sale proceedings, according to the indictment.

The purpose of the scheme was to shield Discovery Home Builders and Seeno Construction from the effects of the economic downtown and the decline in East Bay housing prices, the indictment said.

The builders’ bank lines of credit were partly based on home sales prices and the decline in the real estate market raised the prospect that the credit lines would be decreased or eliminated, according to the indictment.

Shahid is accused of encouraging the sale of multiple homes to single buyers, including Discovery Sales employees and ones who falsely represented that they would personally own and occupy each house. The multiple sales were hidden from the banks and other lenders that provided the mortgages for the homes, the indictment said.

Shahid also allegedly gave the buyers incentive gifts and assistance with down payments and mortgage payments while knowing that the lenders would not have approved the mortgages if they had been aware of the aid, according to the indictment.

The charges carry a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison if Shahid is convicted.

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