Hussain also solicited investors to purchase properties they never
intended to live in, telling the victims he would rent out and manage
the homes on their behalf. He did not actually make the mortgage
payments, defrauding the homeowners and jeopardizing their credit
“He had a lot of different schemes, but it was basically
making promises to people in difficult circumstances and never following
through with a single one,” said FBI Forensic Accountant Kathleen
Brekenfeld, who painstakingly matched up thousands of Hussain’s
financial transactions with real estate activity to help prove the case.
“It’s unfathomable how he could meet these people, see what they’re
going through, and rip money out of their hands.”
guilty last September to aggravated identify theft and conspiracy to
commit wire fraud. In January, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
won’t get their money back, but the victims were pleased with the
sentence, knowing that he can’t do this to anyone again anytime soon. It
gives them some closure,” Grady said.
Grady and Brekenfeld
recommend doing your homework in any real estate transaction, especially
if someone asks you for significant cash up front or promises any sort
of guaranteed returns. Legitimate investments do not offer guarantees.
it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” Brekenfeld said. “High
upfront fees and guarantees should raise a red flag. Do your research.
Step back and say, ‘Does this really make sense to me?’ ”