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San Diegan Gets Prison|for Mortgage Fraud

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A San Diego loan officer was sentenced Monday to 2½ years in federal prison for a mortgage fraud conspiracy that netted him and a cohort $1 million.

Simon Saeid Koli, 41, pleaded guilty in July to conspiring to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Attorney's Office said. A co-defendant, Kian Ashkanizadeh, also a loan officer in North San Diego County, also has pleaded guilty.

Both men worked at Southern California Finance, a mortgage company, where they recruited family members and friends to act as straw buyers for four expensive houses, all on the same street in Carlsbad, a wealthy seaside northern suburb of San Diego.

After fabricating job titles, income and assets to qualify for $1 million mortgage loans on each property, the men arranged for $200,000 in bogus consulting fees for each loan, and another $45,000 for sham "construction fees" for each one, prosecutors said.

Koli was ordered to appear in court on Jan. 25, 2013, for a hearing on restitution.

Ashkanizadeh will be sentenced on Jan. 28.

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