A 37-year-old Huntington Beach man was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for his role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme based in Irvine and Santa Ana, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Momoud Aref Abaji was also ordered Tuesday to pay more than $10 million in restitution by U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford. About 100 condominiums around the country were fraudulently purchased, leading to about $10 million in losses when the residences fell into foreclosure, prosecutors said.

In June, co-defendant Maher Obagi, 32, of Huntington Beach, was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison and ordered to pay $10 million in restitution. Another co-defendant Mohamed Salah, 43, of Mission Viejo, was sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay about $7 million in restitution last month.

The defendants, along with several others, were part of the scheme that was run through Excel Investments and other companies based out of Santa and Irvine, according to Thom Mrozek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The scam stemmed from the housing collapse and recession in 2008. With developers struggling to sell condos, the defendants helped to arrange for the purchase of the residences in California, Florida and Arizona at a discount in exchange for kickbacks, Mrozek said.

The discounted sales were made to the defendants’ friends, relatives and straw buyers, who were recruited due to their strong credit. They were enticed with promises of an investment opportunity requiring no down payment and revenue from rentals, Mrozek said.

The conspiracy also included fraudulent loan applications. That led mortgage lenders to kick in about $21 million in financing of the about 100 condo units, Mrozek said.

Many of the loans lapsed into default and the lenders lost more than $10 million, Mrozek said. The Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae federal lenders acquired dozens of the loans and lost at least $1.3 million, Mrozek said.

Other defendants involved in the scheme include:

— Ali Khatib, 53, of Newport Coast, who pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 10;

— Jacqueline Burchell, 57, of Orange, who pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 1.

— Wajieh Tbakhi, 53, who is a fugitive, and Mohamed El Tahir, who has since died, Mrozek said.

Abaji’s wife, Huda Muwalla, wrote a letter to Guilford pleading for mercy.

“Watching Aref Obagi become a father was truly amazing,” she wrote.

The couple have a 7-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son, she said.

“He is extremely caring, kind, and loving toward both of his children,” she said. “Becoming a father and caring for his children has made Aref Obagi a better man.”

She said that her husband “is aware of his mistakes that has led him to be a part of this case,” but he is “not the same person or even at the same place he was at when he was charged. He now has a family that he lives for and is priorities have changed. Everyone deserves a second chance and Aref is no different.”

In a motion filed July 2, Abaji denied many of the facts of the case against him and blamed his trial attorney for not having him testify in his trial.

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