March 29, 2013
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
Two fraud and bribery convictions, coupled with three earlier guilty pleas wrap up a Detroit fraud ring investigation that included an assistant vice president from Fifth Third Bank, an attorney, a title company vice president and an owner of several gas stations.
Says the FBI, “The evidence at trial showed that from 2003 to 2007, Nazzal and Schneider conspired to defraud Fifth Third Bank by using straw buyers, false tax returns, inflated financial statements, and phantom down payments in a series of commercial loan transactions involving Detroit area businesses and gas stations.
“Nazzal then submitted false and fraudulent payoff letters for mortgages and pre-existing liens when, in fact, none existed, so that he or one of his companies could obtain payouts at the respective closings. Schneider, the treasurer of record for two of Nazzal’s companies, separately obtained closing funds by submitting fraudulent invoices for attorneys’ fees. Nazzal and Schneider were also convicted of paying bribes to Morton, a former vice president at the bank, in connection with the fraudulent loans.
“Nazzal was also convicted of obstruction of justice by falsifying records in a federal investigation; the evidence showed that at Nazzal’s direction, Morton prepared a series of false documents exonerating Nazzal from any wrongdoing.”
Banks that got ripped off include Bank of America and Comerica Bank