Jury Convicts San Francisco Realtor and Investor Victor Makras of Home Loan Fraud | USAO-NDCA
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal jury has convicted Victor Makras, a prominent San Francisco real estate agent and investor, of misrepresentation to a bank and bank fraud related to fraudulent representations in a mortgage loan application, U.S. Attorney Stephanie M Hinds, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Sean Ragan and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Mark H. Pearson. The verdict follows a two-week trial before US Chief District Judge Richard Seeborg.
Victor Makras, 64, of San Francisco, was charged in a substitute indictment filed May 31, 2022. The four charges related to a refinancing mortgage loan obtained by a Makras employee and the employee’s wife. These four counts charged Makras with conspiracy to make false statements to a bank; provide false information to a bank; conspiracy to commit bank fraud; and bank fraud.
The jury convicted Makras of two counts: misrepresentation to a bank and bank fraud. The jury was unable to reach a verdict on the other two charges: conspiracy to make false statements to a bank and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
Court evidence showed that Makras had defrauded Quicken Loans, a financial institution, on a $1.3 million real estate mortgage loan secured by properties owned by the Makras employee who was the borrower of the loan. In the application for the $1.3 million loan, Makras represented a falsely inflated debt of $915,000 to Quicken Loans, which Makras claimed the borrower owed to Makras and its investors. The falsely inflated debt allowed the borrower to hide other debts from Quicken. The other outstanding debt included over $89,000 owed to a contractor for extensive remodeling of the property, which was made available to the borrower without simultaneous invoicing. Another debt hidden from the company was a $70,000 unsecured personal loan that Makras extended to the borrower.
In summary, the evidence showed that Makras misrepresented the loan application, that the borrower owed Makras an inaccurate, inflated amount of $915,000, and that Quicken concealed the construction debt and personal loan.
The federal jury today convicted Makras of making false statements to a bank in violation of 18 USC § 1014, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. The jury also convicted Makras of bank fraud in a count in violation of 18 USC §§ 1344(1),(2), carrying a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000 or not more than the greater amount twice the gross profit or gross loss is documented. However, any penalty will be imposed by the court only after consideration of US sentencing guidelines and the federal statute on imposing a penalty, 18 USC § 3553.
Makras remains out of prison pending sentencing. No future date has been set yet.
The charges contained in the replacement charge against Makras’ co-defendant and the charges on which the jury has not reached a verdict remain allegations. As in any criminal case, a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
Assistant US Attorneys David Ward and Zachary Abrahamson prosecuted the case in court with the assistance of Veronica Hernandez and Tina Rosenbaum. The case is being investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
This case is part of a larger federal investigation into public corruption in the city and county of San Francisco. Twelve people have been charged so far, including senior San Francisco official Mohammed Nuru, who was yesterday sentenced to seven years in federal prison. Several city contractors and intermediaries have also been charged.