August 19, 2013
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
The dog days of summer and a slow news cycle certainly don’t apply to today’s fraudsters. I had three stories for Mug Shot Monday. Overwhelmed with my choices, I’ve simply decided to go with all three!
I’ve railed against the policy that Wall Street bankers are protected by a “Too Big to Jail” attitude while community bankers are getting sentences in the Big House for just being sloppy, and probably incompetent, in their jobs.
However, it’s important to keep everything in perspective. Iran has sentenced four bankers to death over a $2.6 billion loan fraud. Some of the 39 fraudsters will be flogged.
“The man described by Iranian media as the mastermind of the scheme, businessman Amir Mansoor Khosravi, is said to have forged letters of credit from Iran’s Bank Saderat to fund dozens of companies and buy a state-owned steel factory. Mahmoud Reza Khavari, the former head of Iran’s biggest bank, state-owned Bank Melli, resigned over the affair and fled to Canada where records show he owns a $3 million home, Iranian and Canadian news agencies reported.”
Turning from the serious to the bizarre, a reality TV star couple from the show, “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” face run of the mill fraud charges of overstating income and failure to file tax returns. Now, this line has nothing to do with small business lending, but it reinforces my belief that character is the first “C.”
Seems the husband could face deportation to Italy if convicted since he never received his U.S. citizenship. But get this. The lawyer said with a straight face, “Joe didn’t know he wasn’t a citizen. The rest of his family is. Had he known and applied for citizenship he certainly would have gotten it.”
Finally, we finish with another fraudster car dealer.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but a bank is out $1.3 million for loans based on false tax returns and financial statements. The collateral of four vintage cars, a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, a 1974 Pantera Detomaso, a 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle and a 1938 Ford Custom Street Rod, evaporated when the bank learned our fraudster didn’t quite have the proper paperwork to support his claim of ownership. A guilty plea netted him three years in jail.