Realtor flees to Turkey, is extradited to the U.S.
Former Realtor, Diane Atari in Ashburn, Virginia pleaded guilty to a $50 million mortgage and credit scam after years of a heated international man hunt. Court documents reveal that her plea was for grand larceny and several felony counts of making false statements to obtain credit and will be sentenced in February of 2012. Atari owned and operated ACR Consulting Co. and Atari Management Co. and was originally indicted on the charges on July 13, 2009, shortly after she fled to Turkey where she was arrested three months later with the help of Interpol. Atari spent over a year in a Turkish jail and was extradited in February, 2010.
“The investigation was not an easy one,” Captain Ken Pratt of the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office told the Loudoun Times in February. “It deals with forensic audits and an attention to detail that goes beyond normal fraud and white collar crime investigations.”
Making false statements to obtain credit
Atari fixed her clients’ credit as well as reported their incomes as substantially higher than they really were so that they would qualify for homes they never would have otherwise, which the prosecutors claim ultimately led to losses of over $50 million in defaulted mortgages. Court documents also show that Atari personally obtained over $1 million in commissions from the scheme.
Although in February this year, she told the court, “It’s been distorted and fabricated,” her lawyer today said in a statement, “Diane Atari has today acknowledged the mistakes she made years ago. After reflecting on those mistakes and what she has learned from them, during the past several months she has fully cooperated with authorities and has agreed to assist a local Community Services Board in a program aimed at helping offenders readjust to society upon their release to help prevent recidivism.”