Two Houston Men Sentenced to Prison for Million Dollar Fraud Scheme

Ismail N. Mohammad, 62, of Sugar Land, and Mohammed Yaseen, 54, a citizen of Pakistan formerly residing in Richmond, have been ordered to federal prison in relation to a fraud scheme involving the Small Business Administration (SBA), announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Both entered pleas of guilty Sept. 16, 2013.
Today, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt, who accepted the guilty pleas, handed Mohammad and Yaseen respective terms of six and 33 months in federal prison. Both are liable, joint and severally, to pay $1,038,707.90 in restitution. The court also imposed a money judgment for the same amount. Mohammad will be required to serve a term of three years of supervised release, while Yaseen is expected to face deportation proceedings following his release from prison.
The conspiracy began in March 2008 when Mohammad agreed to buy Yaseen’s Passport Inn Motel in Columbus for a price of $1.2 million.
Mohammad obtained a SBA guaranteed loan from Westbound Bank in Houston which required he make a cash injection of his own money, paid to the seller outside of the loan closing.
However, as part of the scheme, Yaseen actually provided Mohammad with checks totaling $55,000 in order to fraudulently represent to the bank as proof of payment made by Mohammed, in violation of SBA loan program rules. Yaseen also provided Mohammad his bank statements showing more than $100,000 in assets, which Mohammad changed to reflect his company name and presented to the bank as part of the loan package. After the loan closed, $950,000 was wired from New York to Yaseen’s bank in Houston on May 30, 2008.
In July 2009, Mohammad agreed with Yaseen to obtain a new loan of $510,000 for construction of more hotel rooms at the Columbus location, a project for which Yaseen would serve as general contractor. Yaseen admitted today that he provided Mohammad with funds that were fraudulently used to show Mohammad’s cash injection for the second SBA guaranteed loan.
After several years, Mohammad defaulted on the loans and the bank and the SBA incurred a loss of more than $1 million.
Yaseen, a citizen of Pakistan with no legal status in the United States, will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future. Mohammad was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The case was investigated by SBA-Office of Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Martha Minnis.

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