MANHATTAN (CN) – A man and his mother pleaded guilty to defrauding home lenders of more then $200 million while they ran subprime mortgage broker AGA Capital, now known as Lending Universe. Garri Zhigun, his mom Galina Zhigun, and their employee Maryann Furman all face up to 30 years in prison at their Jan. 5 sentencings.
Twenty-six other people have been charged in this mortgage fraud ring, and eight have pleaded guilty, federal prosecutors said. They are accused of lying on loan documents, using straw buyers and coordinating the scam with an attorney, real estate appraisers and loan officers. The defendants got millions of dollars of fees for arranging the dishonest loans, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
AGA Capital operated out of Brooklyn from 2004 to 2006, then changed its name to Lending Universe. Galina Zhigun, 54, was the owner and registered broker; her son supervised the operations and Furman was the office manager. Garri Zhigun also was ordered to forfeit $2.5 million; his mom and Furman must forfeit $1 million apiece.