Florida fraudster headed to prison for scam that preyed on Orthodox Jewish community

by Ryan Smith13 Aug 2019

A Florida man has been sentenced to more than seven years in federal prison for masterminding a $3.5 million mortgage scam that targeted the Orthodox Jewish community in two states.

According to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, between May 2012 and May 2019, Shayeh Dov, 49, masterminded a scheme that targeted the Orthodox Jewish community in Florida and New York.

“Dov exploited the community’s close bonds of trust to obtain money for fraudulent investments,” the US Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Prosecutors sad that Dov presented investment opportunities in distressed or foreclosed mortgage notes through companies he owned and operated – sometimes engaging investors in a legitimate transaction, only to subsequently conduct a fraudulent transaction. Dov continued to scam investors even after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in February, the US Attorney’s Office said.

Dov bought, sold and offered investors mortgage notes at a discount because the notes were attached to delinquent or foreclosed properties. He used high-pressure sales tactics to convince his victims to purchase the notes. Dov also falsely claimed that he had inside connections to financial institutions and told investors that they had a very limited window in which to purchase the notes.

Dov also sold notes that he did not own, and which were not actually for sale. He also purported to sell mortgage notes that he had actually sold to other purchasers years ago. In at least one instance, he sold the same note to two investors about five days apart.

Dov directed investors to wire the payments to bank accounts he controlled. That money was then used to bankroll Dov’s personal expenses, including travel, gambling, mortgage payments and luxury car loans. Dov also occasionally used new investors’ money to pay back earlier investors. The money was not, however, used to purchase the mortgage notes Dov promised to investors.

In addition to his prison sentence, Dov was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay more than $3 million in restitution to his victims.