Indian-American man from Bay Area sentenced for mortgage fraud

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An Indian-American from Fremont, California was sentenced Aug. 14, by U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $328,000 in restitution for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Mahendra Prasad, 55, pleaded guilty on May 22,  to one count of mail fraud affecting a financial institution, according to a Justice Department press release.

According to court documents, in 2006, Prasad was instrumental in submitting falsified loan application packages to a mortgage lender in order to buy a property in Sacramento.

The false statements included information concerning Prasad’s employer, income, and intention to occupy the property as his primary residence. After buying the home fraudulently, Prasad, with the assistance of others, rented the property as Section 8 housing and collected rents.

In 2013, Prasad applied to a bank to sell the property to another person at a loss of approximately $328,000 to the bank. He falsely claimed to the bank that the “short” sale was an “arm’s length” transaction, and that neither he nor the buyer were related by commercial enterprise.

Prasad’s co-defendants Jyoteshna Karan, Praveen Singh, Sunita Singh and Nani Isaac are scheduled for a jury trial in U.S. District Court in Fresno, on Dec. 11. The charges against the four remaining defendants are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.