Pair plead guilty in mortgage fraud scheme

Following the lead of their Newport Coast ringleader who was convicted last month, a Fountain Valley couple pleaded guilty Tuesday to being part of a mortgage fraud scheme that netted more than $3.6 million from Orange County banks.

Sabiha Quidwai, 35, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit a crime with an enhancement for the loss totaling more than $500,000. She was sentenced to 20 days in jail and probation. Her husband, Nafees Quidwai, 55, pleaded guilty to six counts of grand theft and conspiracy with an enhancement. He was sentenced to a year in jail and probation.

The two are the latest to be convicted of a fraud scheme that involved three homes and targeted at least five different banks. Mailan Thu Tran, 46, of Newport Coast, pleaded guilty in September to leading the scheme and was sentenced to five years in prison.

Tran owned Money Lending One in Westminster and recruited others to get multiple mortgage loans on homes in Fountain Valley, Corona and Rosemead. She and her accused partner, Cuc Huong Doan, 38, allegedly put fake job titles and incomes on home loan applications to get more money. They or the homeowners would apply for loans at different banks, in each case not informing the bank of the other loans.

With the Quidwais, Tran got more than $2 million in cash, checks and fire transfers. She and her cohorts also received more than $1.5 million from loans on a Rosemead home. Doan and a fifth defendant, Trieu Thi Nguyen, 60, have pleaded not guilty.

Joseph Serna

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