Chicago businessman indicted for multimillion-dollar mortgage scam

by Ryan Smith17 Jun 2019

A Chicago-area businessman has been indicted for bank fraud and identity theft for allegedly scamming millions of dollars in mortgages and auto loans.

The US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois said that Yale Schiff, 44, used stolen identities to scam financial institutions into lending him more than $3.1 million on four properties. Schiff allegedly filed phony letters from financial institutions with the Cook County, Ill., Recorder’s Office, claiming that loans on the properties were paid in full and the mortgages had been released, when that was not the case. He then allegedly kept the loan money paid by the banks – as well as the proceeds from the eventual sale of the properties – without paying the mortgages.

Schiff also allegedly used multiple fake and stolen identities to scam lenders for auto loans. He again allegedly submitted phony letters to the Cook County Recorder’s Office stating that the vehicle liens were paid in full, then sold the vehicles and kept the proceeds without paying the loans.

Schiff also allegedly used stolen identities to obtain a string of credit cards, on which he racked up large balances that he did not pay.

The charges allege that three of Schiff’s relatives and a business associate aided him in the various scams.

The indictment seeks a judgment requiring Schiff to forfeit about $4.7 million, as well as a property in Riverwoods, Ill.