Crime - Sacto 911

Crime Q&A: What is status of loan fraud case against former Granite Bay developer?

Abe Alizadeh, a former property developer and fast-food mogul, is awaiting trial on federal criminal charges.
Abe Alizadeh, a former property developer and fast-food mogul, is awaiting trial on federal criminal charges. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

Q: What happened to the indictment against Abe Alizadeh of Roseville and Granite Bay?

Interested Taxpayer, Sacramento

A: Abe Alizadeh, a former property developer and fast-food mogul, is awaiting trial on federal criminal charges.

A federal grand jury in April 2015 returned a 21-count indictment against Alizadeh of Granite Bay and former escrow officer Mary Sue Weaver of Roseville, charging them with $20 million in loan fraud on large real estate properties.

According to federal court records available online, their next court date, for a motion hearing, is Nov. 4.

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 real estate. 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.

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 controlled by Alizadeh to make sure he had enough money to cover closing costs.

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 outlets, federal officials said.

In 2012, Alizadeh pleaded no contest to one felony grand theft and two misdemeanor counts for misappropriation of sales tax and nonpayment of unemployment insurance contributions, according to the California State Board of Equalization.

If convicted on the federal charges, Alizadeh and Weaver face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each count, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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