An Annandale man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to mortgage and passport fraud that resulted in a loss of $1.7 million for lenders in Northern Virginia.
Pervaiz Arshad, 58, “conspired to commit mail fraud and wire fraud in connection with his role in fraudulent mortgage loan transactions involving nine homes in northern Virginia,” according to a news release from the United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
In addition to the mortgage charges, Arshad, a former loan officer with Annandale-based E-Star Lending, pleaded guilty to attempting to obtain a fraudulent passport for a co-conspirator to leave the country and flee to Canada, the release states.
Court documents show Arshad admitted to recruiting someone to act as a “straw buyer” in real estate transactions. The admission was part of Arshad’s plea agreement, according to the release. The properties involved in the transactions were owned by co-conspirators and sold to the “straw buyer” at a profit. Arshad helped the straw buyer qualify for 100 percent financing and reported false employment and income information on the loan application that were created by the co-conspirators. The individual Arshad recruited was expected to flee to Canada before authorities found out about the fraud, the release further states.
Arshad was indicted back in 2012, but according to the United States Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia, he fled to Pakistan. He was arrested last month when he was found on a flight heading to Dulles International Airport.
This case is not the first time that E-Star Lending has had trouble with mortgage fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s office said Arshad is the sixth individual associated with the company to be convicted of such charges since 2008.
The Washington Post reports Gohar J. Mirza, the former owner and operator of E-Star Lending, plead guilty to similar charges in 2008, when straw buyers purchased properties in Annandale, Springfield and Woodbridge.
Arshad will be sentenced on Nov. 2. The release states he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, 20 years for the conspiracy charge and 10 years for the passport charge.