Steve Kessedjian, 50, from the Los Angeles community of Tarzana, pleaded guilty in Fresno U.S. District Court to committing mail fraud.
According to the plea agreement he signed, Kessedjian used his two businesses Amerilend and Targa Escrow to defraud his clients of funds they were due from escrow (escrow fraud).
In December 2007, a Tuolumne County couple used Amerilend to apply for a loan to refinance their home and pay their credit card debt. The HUD-1 settlement statement would normally have instructions to the escrow officer to, in this case, pay off the credit cards. But Kessedjian instead modified the HUD-1 so that no funds were allocated by Targa Escrow to the pay-off; instead, he used the money for himself. Six months later, he wrote checks to repay those escrow funds but they bounced.
Sadly, Steve Kessedjian’s crimes, which he admitted in his plea agreement, caused the couple to have to file bankruptcy. The plea agreement also requires Kessedjian to repay the victims over $66,000.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence O’Neill will sentence Kessedjian in December, at which time the could get up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.
The Bureau of Real Estate revoked Steve Kessedjian’s broker’s license.
Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.