Verdict on $9.2 million mortgage fraud

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Serious Fraud Office

A case involving a series of fraudulent property sales and purchases conducted by an Auckland woman and a number of her relatives and associates concluded in sentencing at the Auckland District Court on August 17, 2016.

Eli Devoy (aka Ellie Stone, AKA Eli Ghorbani, AKA Elaheh Ghorbani Sar Sangi) was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment with a minimum period of imprisonment of two years and six months (50% of the sentence).

She was the principal defendant in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme prosecuted by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) where five defendants were guilty of Crimes Act charges. A ten-week trial was held in the Auckland District Court from February to June this year.

The additional defendants who participated in Mrs Devoy’s scheme were Mehrdad Ghorbani (aka Mohammad Ghorbani Sarsangi), who was sentenced to two years and seven months’ imprisonment, Mehrzad Ghorbani (aka Mehdi Ghorbani) who was sentenced to 10 months’ home detention and Mehran Ghorbani (aka Massoud Ghorbani, aka Ken Williams) who received seven months’ home detention.

A further defendant, Nasrin Kardani, has been remanded on bail until 9 September 2016 for sentencing.

The group conducted a series of sales and purchases of 11 properties in the Auckland area between July 2007 and December 2010. They deceived lending institutions into approving mortgage applications that contained false information and supporting documents and the offending amounted to approximately $9.2 million.

SFO Chief Executive Julie Read said, “We welcome the decisions of His Honour Judge Gibson today which demonstrates that there are significant penalties for those who do not provide truthful information to banks and lenders.”

-Serious Fraud Office Press Release

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