Here is another example of a recent legal case involving a fraudulent real estate scheme committed by a real estate agent. I try to post case summaries in order to provide timely updates to real estate professionals on important issues.
On May 11, 2009, John A. Yanchek was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to forfeit $7.6 million for conspiracy to commit loan fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering.
According to court documents, Mr. Yanchek was a licensed Florida attorney who did business as the law firm of John A. Yanchek, P.A., in Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Yanchek represented G & T Land Development LLC and Steeplechase Properties LLC, legal entities owned and/or controlled by his co-conspirators, that purchased and developed commercial real estate in the Sarasota area. Mr. Yanchek also functioned as a closing agent.
According to the plea agreement, Mr. Yanchek entered into a conspiracy to make false statements to federally-insured banks in connection with applications for commercial loans used to purchase vacant land for development. The object of the conspiracy was to obtain enough loan money to allow the conspirators to purchase the property without contributing any equity of their own and to receive excess loan proceeds for their personal use. Mr. Yanchek, as the closing attorney for the loans, made false statements to the banks regarding: (1) the financial resources of the borrower, (2) the amount and source of equity contributed by the borrower, (3) compliance with the seller's obligation to provide marketable title to the property, and (4) distribution of the loan proceeds.
Co-defendant Larry P. Nardelli was convicted on February 19, 2009, and is awaiting sentencing. Michael A. Tringali pleaded guilty and received a 41 month prison sentence. The third co-defendant Neil M. Husani remains a fugitive.
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