Crime - Sacto 911

Broker, agent sentenced to jail for real estate fraud

Two people have been sentenced to 180 days in Sacramento County jail for real estate fraud related to short-sale transactions.

Broker Shaima Hadayat and real estate agent Harpreet Singh were sentenced Tuesday by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Curtis Fiorini. Singh also received five years of formal probation and and Hadayat received three years of informal probation, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.

Singh pleaded no contest to a felony count of forgery and agreed to surrender his real estate license to the California Bureau of Real Estate. Hadayat pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of grand theft and agreed to surrender her broker license.

Hadayat and Singh handled multiple short-sale transactions in which they signed arm’s-length transaction agreements under penalty of perjury. An investigation was done by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General. The probe found that the sellers were related to the buyers and after the transactions were completed, the sellers remained in their homes in violation of the agreements.

The defendants conspired to facilitate and obtain commissions from the transactions. Singh also forged proof of funds on multiple offers to various real estate agents throughout Sacramento County, authorities said.

Federal investigators conducted the investigation because the victims, Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America, applied for and received federal TARP funds under the Capital Purchase Program, authorities said.

The case was prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy