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Former marketing officer jailed 70 months for fraud
Ataollah Aminpour, former chief marketing officer of now-defunct Mirae Bank (Los Angeles) was sentenced on May 20, 2019, to 70 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme that caused the Koreatown-based lender to issue more than $15 million in fraudulent loans, and ultimately caused the bank to suffer severe losses. Aminpour, who pleaded guilty in December 2017 to one felony count of making a false statement to a financial institution, was also ordered to pay $7,519,084 in restitution.
According to court documents, Aminpour held himself out as a successful businessman who could help people obtain financing for gas station and car wash businesses with little or no down payment. In some instances, Aminpour would identify a business for the borrower to purchase, and would negotiate the sales price. On the commercial loan applications that Aminpour would submit to the bank on behalf of the borrower, however, Aminpour would overstate the actual purchase price of the business, thereby causing the bank to issue inflated loan amounts that were not fully secured. For example, Aminpour made false statements to Mirae Bank in an application for a $4.2 million loan in connection with the purchase a car wash in Maywood. When he pleaded guilty, Aminpour admitted that, on the application, he falsely stated that the purchase price of the car wash was $6.65 million when the real purchase price was $3.25 million.
In his plea agreement, Aminpour further admitted that his scheme involved false statements in six loan applications submitted between November 2005 and February 2007 for loans totaling $16.7 million, and that losses on those loans exceeded $7.5 million. In addition to the loans charged as part of the fraud in this case, Aminpour referred approximately $150 million in loans to Mirae Bank, and the losses on those loans played a significant role in the bank’s collapse in 2009, according to court documents. The FDIC and Wilshire Bank, which acquired Mirae Bank’s assets from FDIC, together suffered more than $33 million in losses on the Aminpour-referred loans. Wilshire Bank was subsequently acquired by Bank of Hope.
- Department of Justice press release