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Three Valley Residents Accused of Defrauding BofA, Fidelity Insurance PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Terry Contributing Writer   
Thursday, 11 October 2012 04:54

Vahe Hayrapetian

Saliya "Sal" DeSilva

Nora Yefima

A trio of Valley area residents have been arrested and charged in taking part in plan to defraud Bank of America and Fidelity National Title Company out of $1.5 million.

Following a joint investigation by the FBI and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, the two men and one woman – Saliya "Sal" DeSilva, 49, of Northridge; Nora Yefima, 50, of Santa Clarita; and Vahe Hayrapetian, 45, of Burbank (grey shirt) – were indicted on charges of bank fraud and mail fraud on Oct. 2. On Oct. 5, the suspects were arrested at their homes by detectives from the Sheriff's Real Estate Fraud Team, and booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles.

All three have been released on bail, detectives said. DeSilva, Yefima and Hayrapetian are scheduled to appear in federal court in downtown Los Angeles on Oct. 15.

According to detectives, the owner of a residential property on Gould Avenue in La Canada-Flintridge defaulted on $3.5 million in loans in July 2009, which were secured by the property. Bank of America foreclosed on the property and took possession of it.

In February 2010, DeSilva allegedly contacted Bank of America officials posing as the prior owner, provided them with counterfeit documents, and convinced the bank officials that the foreclosure was improper, detectives said. As a result, the bank officials rescinded the foreclosure, and DeSilva, a licensed real estate salesperson, listed the property for sale without the consent or knowledge of the prior owner.

In August 2011, detectives said, the property was eventually sold in a fraudulent short sale transaction after a title insurance company was given false information regarding the condition of the property, and was provided with counterfeit documents, including a fake Bank of America Short Sale Approval Letter stating that Bank of America had approved a sales price of $250,000.

The buyer allegedly used Hayrapetian, a loan broker, to obtain a $1.5 million loan for the "purchase," and the funds were wire transferred by the lender to Oshana Escrow in Encino.

Hayrapetian is accused, detectives said, of submitting materially false and fraudulent documents to the lender order to secure the $1.5 million loan.

It is also alleged that Yefima, the owner of Oshana Escrow, sent false documents to the title insurance company, wire transferred a relatively small portion of the loan funds to the title insurance company for the fraudulent short sale, and then sent the remainder of the funds, an amount exceeding $1 million, to several other parties who had nothing to do with the transaction.

Detectives said the buyer of the property then defaulted on the loan which was fraudulently obtained by Hayrapetian, and since Bank of America officials never approved the short sale and continues to assert the validity of their $3.5 million in liens, meaning there is insufficient equity in the property to compensate the subsequent lender for the $1.5 million loss.

Fidelity National Title Company insured the lender and may have to reimburse them for the loss.

The investigation is continuing and more arrests could be forthcoming, detectives said.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 October 2012 05:00