A Maryland mortgage broker was sentenced to two years in federal prison yesterday for her role in defrauding investors of over $400,000.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), Sultana Siddiqui, a/k/a Sultana Ahmad, age 56, of North Potomac, Maryland, was convicted of conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud arising from an investment fraud scheme.
Siddiqui was also ordered by the judge to be immediately taken into custody because she visited the victims in an attempt to bribe them the weekend before the trial. The judges also ordered Siddiqui to forfeit $405,000, and pay restitution of $402,800, the loss resulting from the scheme minus $2,200 in “lulling payments” paid to two of the victims in order to prevent them from going to authorities.
According to the USDOJ, Siddiqui had lied to victims that her co-defendant Alexander Matthews was an investor or developer who could bring big profits in a short period of time. She received money from the investors that she then deposited into her personal bank account.
The defendants then gave each victim a post-dated check in the amount of initial investment amount and additional money for the promised return. All the checks turned out to be bad and when the victims found out, Siddiqui and Matthews sent lulling payments and/or email communications to the victims.
For example, Siddiqui and Matthews defrauded a real estate agent and her husband out of $300,000 in a bogus home renovation and lease scam in 2008. The defendants lied to the victims telling them that the property was to be leased by the FBI. However, no lease agreement existed and the defendants used the cash for their own benefit, providing only a small number of lulling payments to the victims.
In 2011, Alexander Matthews, age 50, of Dunn Loring, Virginia, pleaded guilty to his participation in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.