Issaquah man charged in $47 million fraud case

March 26, 2009

By Staff

NEW — 6:30 p.m. March 26, 2009

An Issaquah man and six other people were arrested today in a bank, wire and mail fraud scheme that authorities said defrauded banks and mortgage lenders of more than $47 million.

Issaquah real estate agent David Sobol, 40, was charged in a 40-count federal indictment with several counts of bank, mail and wire fraud. Authorities said Sobol and others falsified tax records and employed “straw buyers” — unqualified buyers with falsified loan applications — to purchase homes in Seattle and on the Eastside.

In addition to Sobol, six other people were charged in the indictment:

♦ Viktor Kobzar, 32, of Federal Way, a mortgage broker

♦ Camie Byron, 28, of Renton, a loan officer for Kobay and Nationwide

♦ Alla Sobol, 28, of Renton, a mortgage broker

♦ Vladislav Baydovskiy, 31, of Bellevue, a mortgage broker

♦ Donata Baydovskiy, 28, of Bellevue, a part-owner of Emerald City Escrow

According to authorities:

David Sobol purchased a Newcastle property for $669,950 in August 2007. A month later, he sold the property to co-defendant Byron for $1 million. Byron used falsified loan applications to obtain two loans worth about $900,000 for the property.

In November 2007, Byron sold the property to a straw buyer for $1.4 million. A loan application submitted by the straw buyer inflated his or her income to meet the lending requirements.

The loan application said the buyer earned more than $324,000 in 2005 and $385,000 in 2006. But the buyer reported income to the IRS of $13,245 in 2005 and $16,600 the following year.

The defendants were involved with three Bellevue companies: Emerald City Escrow, Nationwide Home Lending and Kobay Financial Corporation.

Nationwide and Kobay employees prepared and submitted falsified loan applications and verification documents to lenders. Authorities said the employees concealed information about buyers who were unqualified for loans. Lenders extended loans based on the falsified documents. Authorities said the loans exceeded the value of the property and the ability of borrowers to repay.

Emerald City employees then disbursed excess loan proceeds from the escrow accounts to themselves and their associates.

Investigators reviewed 78 loan files submitted by Nationwide and Kobay to lending institutions. In 69 of those files, fraudulent information was used to obtain $47 million in loans.

Authorities also seek forfeiture of cars — including BMWs and Lamborghinis — and a boat purchased with the money. The items include a 2008 Range Rover and a 2007 Lexus registered to the Sobols.

Sobol and three co-defendants made their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:30 today.

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