SF real estate broker convicted of bank fraud

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — A federal grand jury in San Francisco has convicted a prominent real estate broker and investor of making false statements to a bank and of bank fraud tied to fraudulent misrepresentations made in a mortgage refinance loan application.

The announcement was made Friday. The verdict against Victor Makras follows a two-week trial before U.S. Chief District Judge Richard Seeborg.

Makras, 64, of San Francisco, was charged in a superseding indictment filed on May 31. The four criminal counts are related to a mortgage refinance loan obtained by an associate of Makras and the associate’s wife.

Those four counts charged Makras with conspiring to make a false statement to a bank; making false statements to a bank; conspiring to commit bank fraud; and bank fraud. The jury convicted him of two counts: making false statements to a bank and bank fraud.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the other two counts: conspiracy to make false statements to a bank and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Trial evidence showed that Makras defrauded Quicken Loans, a financial lending institution, in a $1.3 million real estate mortgage loan secured by property owned by the Makras associate, who was the borrower on the loan.

In the application for the $1.3 million loan, Makras represented to Quicken Loans a falsely inflated debt amount of $915,000 that Makras claimed the borrower owed to Makras and his investors. The falsely inflated debt allowed the borrower to conceal other debts from Quicken.

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The other outstanding debts included over $89,000 owed to a contractor for extensive remodel work on the property that was provided to the borrower without contemporaneous billing. Another debt concealed from the company was a $70,000 unsecured personal loan made by Makras to the borrower.

This case is part of a larger federal investigation targeting public corruption in the City and County of San Francisco. To date, 12 individuals have been charged, including high-ranking San Francisco public official Mohammed Nuru who was sentenced yesterday to seven years in federal prison.

Multiple city contractors and facilitators have also been charged.

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