VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – A man was sentenced Wednesday for conspiracy to commit financial institution fraud and filing a false tax return.
According to court documents, in July 2007 Andysheh Ayatollahi purchased a 50 percent interest in the Car Store, a used car dealership located in Virginia Beach. From then until May 2008, when the Car Store closed, Ayatollahi conspired with others, including Car Store personnel, to defraud Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU).
Ayatollahi and his co-conspirators engaged in fraudulent practices that included using individuals as straw buyers/borrowers to apply to NFCU for car loans because the actual buyers were not sufficiently creditworthy to qualify for a car loan.
Ayatollahi also submitted fraudulent car loan applications to NFCU with false supporting documents; made telephone calls to NFCU impersonating buyers applying for car loans; provided false employer telephone numbers to NFCU and then impersonated the employer while verifying the applicant’s employment and wages; and fraudulently inflated the true purchase price of vehicles and split the excess with the buyers.
In total, Ayatollahi fraudulently caused NFCU to issue 61 car loans with a total loan amount of $1,168,904.97. Most of these loans went into default, resulting in a loss to NFCU of approximately $867,448.
Additionally, Ayatollahi filed false tax returns with the IRS that under-reported his income in 2005 – 2007, resulting in a tax loss of $113,093.
Ayatollahi was sentenced to 74 months in prison, followed by 4 years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $980,541.43 in restitution.