The Jig Is Up

     WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CN) – A Westchester County businessman committed a string of crimes and tampered with witnesses in getting $146 million in bank loans, federal prosecutors say in a five-count indictment.
     A federal grand jury accused Selim “Sammy” Zherka, 46, of Somers, N.Y., of submitting false loan applications to banks, tax fraud, wire fraud, and witness tampering. He was awaiting arraignment in Federal Court on Thursday.
     The indictment accuses Zherka of getting more than $146 million in loans from three banks from 2005 through 2008 – North Fork Bank (now Capital One), Sovereign Bank (now Santander), and Signature Bank – to buy or refinance apartment houses in New England, Tennessee, New Jersey, and New York.
     Zherka is accused of lying about the purchase prices of the real estate, the amount of his down payments, his assets, his income, his tax returns, and “the nature and circumstances of a 2000 court judgment against him for assault and breach of contract (which, to date, he has not paid),” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
     Zherka also is accused of a decade-long tax fraud scheme, submitting fraudulent tax returns to the IRS and obstructing its investigation.
     He faces decades in federal prison if convicted.

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