October 22, 2015
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday — Nik Patel’s Partner Sued for $4.5 Million from USDA B&I Loan Fraud
On Monday, the court ordered receiver attempting to recover assets in the alleged Nik Patel fraud, filed a civil complaint against Timothy Fisher to recover $4.5 million. The money was paid by First Farmers Financial to him as the 50% shareholder and COO.
The money has been used to support Timothy’s “extravagant lifestyle” and Hollywood ventures.
Check out the lurid details alleged by Receiver in the lawsuit:
This case arises out of a massive fraud perpetrated by Nikesh Patel with the knowing assistance of Timothy Fisher through First Farmers Financial, LLC, which Nikesh and Fisher utilized to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars from the sale of fictional loans that were purportedly guaranteed either by the SBA or USDA Rural Development Program.
After fraudulently obtaining these funds, Nikesh and Fisher directed FFF to improperly transfer millions of dollars to Fisher.
Indeed, Fisher, and entities that Fisher owns and/or controls, were the very willing recipients of millions of dollars in fraudulent transfers that were used to fund Fisher’s extravagant lifestyle.
Fisher was Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of FFF, as well as the manager and the majority interest-holder in Translucent Entertainment, LLC, Alena Production, LLC and ASL Pictures, LLC.
Fisher was also previously employed by Beach Business Bank and later by Wells Fargo, and his duties included working with the USDA-guaranteed Rural Development Loan Program. In the course of that employment, Fisher had the opportunity to gain a detailed understanding of how the USDA program worked and where its vulnerabilities might lie. Fisher actively conspired with, and aided and abetted, Nikesh over an extended period of time to plan and execute the fraud described herein, and thereafter Fisher shared in the proceeds of the fraud and misappropriated those proceeds for other businesses and for his personal use.
In 2012, Nikesh and Fisher initiated the process of securing USDA approval of FFF as a non-traditional lender. In connection with that approval process, Fisher provided the USDA with an application for USDA approval that contained fraudulent financial information about FFF that Fisher had secured through a confederate, purported to be from a large financial institution and purported to show that FFF had over $22 million on deposit (and therefore the liquidity to be approved as a USDA-approved lender).
However, in fact, the financial information Fisher provided, and FFF’s alleged access to liquidity, were a complete fiction.
Nikesh and Fisher otherwise conspired to dupe the USDA into approving FFF as a non-traditional lender by making a variety of false and misleading statements regarding FFF’s liquidity and ability to conform to USDA policies, rules and regulations regarding the Rural Development Loan Program.
Nikesh and Fisher used FFF’s status as a USDA-approved lender to perpetrate the fraudulent scheme. FFF was, at all relevant times, a USDA-approved non- traditional lender operating in Florida and Georgia.
As a USDA-approved lender, FFF purportedly originated loans, represented that those loans were secured with USDA guarantees, and sold the allegedly guaranteed portions of those loans through asset managers and/or investment advisors, including a company named Pennant Management, Inc.
FFF assigned the alleged USDA guarantee and that portion of the purported loan to the asset manager or investment advisor, and allegedly serviced said loans for a fee.
Nikesh and Fisher conspired and consulted regarding each of the 26 fabricated loans, including discussing the amount and the timing of each fraudulent loan. Nikesh created the majority of the fraudulent documents with Fisher forging several of the USDA guarantee signatures and approving each fraudulent loan.
Together, Nikesh and Fisher invented each of the 26 “borrowers,” printed phony loan documents, forged the signatures of USDA officials on guarantees, sent the fraudulent loan documentation to Pennant and sold close to $180 million in worthless paper to numerous investors through Pennant.
Thereafter, FFF, under the direction of Nikesh and Fisher, further perpetrated the fraudulent scheme by using a portion of the proceeds of the fraud to remit the monthly principal and interest payments to Pennant on the FFF Loans as those payments became due.
Nikesh and Fisher were able to maintain this fraud by pocketing almost all of the proceeds paid through Pennant for the FFF Loans, and using such proceeds of the fraud to purchase real estate investment properties, personal residences, luxury vehicles, jewelry and the like.
Timothy Fisher has not been charged with a crime.
Nikesh was arrested on fraud charges one year ago.