Crime

University Place home loan lender convicted in mortgage fraud scheme

Staff writerApril 21, 2014 

Emiel Kandi

FILE PHOTO — The Seattle Times

A University Place man who once described himself as "a wolf" for his hardball lending tactics has been convicted in U.S. District Court of lying on federal loan applications and conspiracy to submit fraudulent applications.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced the guilty pleas of Emiel Kandi on Monday.

Federal prosecutors will recommend a sentence of six years, six months in prison when Kandi is sentenced in September, the U.S. Attorney's Office reported.

Kandi has agreed to pay more than $830,000 in restitution to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

A grand jury indicted Kandi in June in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.

Federal prosecutors said he submitted false information on at least 19 home mortgage loan applications in 2008 and 2009 for properties in Gig Harbor, Puyallup, Roy, Kent and Vancouver,  Wash. 

The loans, which were insured through the federal government, were designed to let Kandi cash out of properties, seize a borrower's home and sometimes sell it quickly for a profit, prosecutors said.

Kandi was accused of lying about borrowers' employment history, income and other information on applications.

He was known as what's called a "hard money lender." His clients typically were people who could not get a traditional bank loan but were desperate for cash to keep their homes.

Kandi charged exorbitant interest rates -- in one case 45 percent -- and would foreclose on people for missing a single payment. 

In a 2010 story, Kandi told The Seattle Times he was "a wolf" when it came to calling in loans.

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