Orange County man sentenced in $16M real estate fraud that involved forgeries, fake buyers


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SANTA ANA, California — Prosecutors say a 65-year-old Orange County man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiring with family members in an elaborate real estate fraud scheme.

The Orange County Register reported Tuesday ( that Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah and the other defendants forged documents and bought homes with "straw buyers" who never intended to control the properties.

The total amount of the fraud amounted to more than $16 million.

Shah pleaded guilty Friday to five felony counts including conspiracy, forgery, identify theft and grand theft.

Prosecutors say the defendants fabricated loan applications to reflect higher incomes for the fake buyers, supplied altered bank statements and forged the names and signatures of the buyers on various deeds and loan documents.

Three other family members were previously convicted and sentenced.

Information from: The Orange County Register,

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