Mehran Abazary, 66, was not given any jail time as his attorney, Stephen Meister, wrote in court papers he has health challenges including prostate cancer.
Abazary was the customer of a firm known as Better Mortgage Co., which was operated by two brothers who both were sentenced to 18 and 13 months in federal prison for involvement in the same scheme.
Adel Afkarian, now 44, and Atef Afkarian, now 42, were both released from federal prison on March 24 and April 6 this year, according to the U.S. Board of Prisons website. Adel and Atef Afkarian were both sentenced in March of 2016 to 18 and 13 months in prison and ordered to pay $5.5 million in restitution that includes the figure that Abazary was ordered to pay.
Adel and Atef Afkarian immigrated from Iran with their parents and attended Mission Bay High School after becoming naturalized U.S. citizens. They were charged with fraudulent sales of other homes in La Jolla. Abazary also immigrated from Iran in the 1970s.
Abazary pleaded guilty to subscribing to a false tax return by omitting income of $250,00, which he received from a mortgage firm involving the sale of his $2 million home in the 6000 block of Soledad Mountain Road in 2010.
U.S. District Court Judge John Houston sentenced Abazary Nov. 6. He ordered Abazary to pay $63,981 to the IRS, which represents the tax owed as failure to report income and $250,000 to Fidelity National Title Group, the nation's largest title insurance company which also provides escrow services.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Allen wrote Abazary made a $250,000 profit "through the fraudulent sale of his heavily underwater $2 million La Jolla home" by "working with a group of crooked real estate professionals." She wrote that Abazary "made it appear that the mortgage did not exist so that he could sell the home to an unsuspecting buyer and collect the purchase money without paying off his lender."
Several others who were only identified in court papers by initials had developed a "complex debt elimination scam designed to make mortgage debt disappear," wrote Allen. They fabricated a series of fraudulent deeds to erased the mortgage debts.
Abazary bought the home in 2002, which was refinanced in 2006 with a $2 million loan from a bank. He defaulted in 2009 and filed a fake deed of trust, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. The fraudulent sale closed in July of 2011 and transferred money to bank accounts in Germany held in the name of his relatives, according to prosecutors. Abazary reported he lost the home in a foreclosure.
"He fell into a deep and unexpected financial hole with the housing bubble burst and the Great Recession began in 2008," stated Meister, Abazary's attorney.
Meister said his client was remorseful and the crime would never happen again. Abazary was only charged with tax evasion.