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A former Southern California mortgage broker has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for allegedly forging income and employment verification documents that were submitted to help win approvals for 17 mortgages totaling more than $8 million.
Alex Ashod Dadourian, a licensed mortgage loan broker with Success Funding in Northridge, California, earned more than $254,000 in fees and commissions between 2017 and 2019 on the fraudulent loans, prosecutors said.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta said Wednesday that Dadourian, 61, was convicted Wednesday on 91 felony counts of mortgage fraud, grand theft, identity theft, and conspiracy. He was sentenced to five years and four months in prison and ordered to pay restitution.
“We won’t stand idly by when bad actors take advantage of their professional position and break the law to enrich themselves,” Bonta said in a statement. “Those who cheat the system to line their own pockets will be held accountable for their crimes.”
The case was prosecuted by the California Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Law, Special Prosecutions Section. State prosecutors conducted an investigation with federal law enforcement officials including the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General.
Prosecutors said Dadourian, whose company did business as Pride Funding, forged employment verifications, paystubs and education records to obtain loans for his clients and earn commissions for himself. The employers listed on the applications either did not exist, or had no record of having employed the loan applicants, prosecutors said.
According to the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System, Success Funding was formed in 1997, and was issued a mortgage loan originator license in 2014 that expired at the end of 2019.
Records maintained by the California Department of Real Estate show Dadourian was issued a real estate broker’s license in 2014, which he surrendered on Aug. 6, 2022, “in connection with a disciplinary action and/or an enforcement investigation.”
Department of Real Estate records show Dadourian was also the registered officer of a corporation formed in 2020, Hakobyan Minasyan Inc. A database of Small Business Administration records maintained by ProPublica show Hakobyan Minasyan Inc. was approved for a $20,832 Paycheck Protection Program loan in June, 2020. According to ProPublica’s database, loan principal and interest totaling $21,079 that were owed by Hakobyan Minasyan were ultimately forgiven.
An Oct. 15, 2021 amended complaint filed by the Department of Real Estate against Dadourian, Success Funding and Hakobyan Minasyan Inc. details allegations of “fraud and dishonest dealing” and mortgage fraud in three real estate transactions that closed in 2017.
In one instance, Dadourian allegedly created fake pay stubs and signed a loan application to help a client purchase a three-bedroom ranch home in Palm Springs on Sept. 25, 2017, for $500,000. According to MLS records compiled by Zillow, the home was resold in 2021 for $880,000.