Q: What happened to the Abe Alizadeh federal trial that was to start in November of 2016? Did it get pushed back again, and is it ever going to happen?
G. Smith, Roseville
A: A federal grand jury in April 2015 returned a 21-count indictment against former property developer and fast-food mogul Abe Alizadeh of Granite Bay and former escrow officer Mary Sue Weaver of Roseville, charging them with $20 million in loan fraud involving large real estate properties.
According to federal court records available online, they won’t go to trial until next year. A trial confirmation hearing is scheduled for Jan. 12, 2018, with a jury trial set for Feb. 20, 2018.
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The indictment alleges that Alizadeh and Weaver engaged in a scheme to inflate loan amounts with bogus documents, including altered purchase contracts for million-dollar acquisitions of commercial and residential properties. None of the six developments mentioned in the indictment was completed, and federal officials said it appeared some of the loan proceeds were used to try to shore up Alizadeh’s sagging business empire, according to a story in The Sacramento Bee.
The transactions cited in the indictment occurred from mid-2004 to April 2008.
Alizadeh was the principal owner of Kobra Properties, which had extensive real estate holdings in Northern California. He also owned dozens of fast-food outlets in the region, including Jack In The Box, TGI Fridays, Sonic Burger and Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants, according to federal officials.
Weaver was an executive with Placer Title Co. who is accused of assisting the fraud scheme in various ways, including taking money of other Placer Title clients and temporarily moving the funds into accounts that Alizadeh controlled to make sure he had enough money to cover closing costs.
In 2012, Alizadeh pleaded no contest to one felony count of grand theft and two misdemeanor counts of misappropriation of sales tax and non-payment of unemployment insurance contributions, according to the California State Board of Equalization.