Federal convictions of L.A. Sheriff’s Deputies have ties to Lee’s Summit

December 6, 2013 

Two deputies of the Los Angeles County, Calif., Sheriff’s Department were convicted in federal court Dec. 6 for their roles in an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme that included property in Lee’s Summit.

James Arthur Nash, Jr., 43, and Arman Nshanian, 37, both of Corona, Calif., were each found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In addition to the criminal conspiracy, Nash was convicted of four counts of wire fraud and Nshanian was convicted of two counts of wire fraud related to fax transmissions and emails that were sent across state lines during the mortgage application process.

According to a news release from the office of Tammy Dickinson, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, Nash and Nshanian were among nine defendants who participated in a mortgage fraud scheme from early 2005 through Aug. 4, 2006.

Mortgage lenders made loans of approximately $11,092,886 on 16 residential properties in Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Blue Springs, Parkville, Independence and Oak Grove. From that total, unbeknownst to the lenders, buyers received approximately $2,006,845 from the loan proceeds. The scheme resulted in a financial loss to mortgage lenders of nearly $5 million.

Co-defendants Leann Raejeana Turner, 44, of Blue Springs, Bruce Q. Williams, 44, of Kansas City, Kan., Carole L. Colson, 71, of Lake Worth, Fla., Anthony E. Hicks, 41, of Little Rock, Ark., Mark P. Billey, 40, of Buena Park, Calif., Zelda Ann Jackson, 40, of Newbury Park, Calif., and Linda Joyce Henry Johnson, 65, all of Corona, Calif., have all pleaded guilty to their roles in the conspiracy.

Turner and Jackson were real estate agents. Williams and Hicks were mortgage loan officers. Colson was a real estate broker. Billey and Johnson each purchased properties and Jackson assisted her husband in the purchase of a property.

Conspirators submitted fraudulent mortgage loan applications to purchase residential properties at inflated prices. The purchases were structured in such a way that the buyers would receive $100,000 cash back from the loan proceeds. The buyers obtained mortgage loans in excess of the actual sales prices to be paid to the seller, in order to receive the difference between the actual sales price and the inflated loan amount.

Turner and Colson listed and arranged for the sale of the homes at inflated prices and solicited buyers. In order to obtain the loan proceeds without the lenders’ knowledge, the buyers created fictitious businesses that issued false invoices that claimed the businesses had provided work and services for which they were entitled to receive loan proceeds.

Nash fraudulently purchased two residential properties in Blue Springs. He received $100,000 from each property. Nshanian fraudulently purchased a residential property in Lee’s Summit and received $100,000.

Under federal statutes, Nash and Nshanian are each subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole for the conspiracy, and up to 20 years in prison on each count of wire fraud. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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