May 28, 2021
Fraud Friday — Bank Executive Pleads Guilty to Scheme That Implicates Giants Baseball Team Owner
Last week, Former Sterling Bank & Trust executive, YiHou “Fanny” Han, pleaded guilty to originating at least 1,288 fraudulent residential mortgage loans through the bank’s low-documentation Advantage Loan Program. The plea deal gives federal investigators insider information against others implicated in the alleged conspiracy, including Scott Seligman, who is the founder of Sterling Bank & Trust and a minority owner of the Giants baseball team.
According to the plea agreement, Seligman encouraged Han and two other loan offers at the bank to falsify information on borrower loan applications, make unauthorized money transfers to conceal the source of funds, and facilitate the approval of loans to borrowers involved in money laundering. Through this scheme, federal investigators believe Seligman and his family received approximately $115 million. However, Seligman has not yet been formally charged for any wrongdoing.
To effectuate this scheme, Han and two other loan officers altered borrower debt-to-income ratios, job titles, employment histories, and supporting documents submitted alongside Advantage Loan Program applications. In order to conceal the fraud, Han says she used her knowledge as a bank executive to undermine the institution’s ability to implement effective anti-money laundering controls.
During the conspiracy, Han earned approximately $3,381,355 in commissions, while her co-conspirators earned approximately $2,519,488, and $990,847 respectively. All three defendants have pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. Han is scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2021, and faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.