Paul Manafort’s ex-son-in-law is facing federal charges in Los Angeles in connection with an alleged real estate fraud scheme in which he’s accused of tricking lenders into providing loans based on bogus property appraisals and collecting rent on luxury homes he did not own, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday.
According to the complaint alleging wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, which was filed in Los Angeles federal court last month under seal, Yohai is facing sentencing in January in a previous real-estate fraud case in which he pleaded guilty.
He is expected to appear before a federal magistrate judge in downtown Los Angeles late Wednesday afternoon on the new charges.
According to an affidavit filed in support of arrest and search warrants, the earlier case is “strikingly like” the new case, and involves some of the same participants.
“In both the old and the new offenses, Yohai usually obtains someone else’s money for a purportedly legitimate purpose, such as an investment, but uses the money for personal expenses, or to pay pre-existing debts, and then lulls the victim into believing that the money has been properly used,” according to the document.
“If the victim demands repayment, Yohai often sends checks written on accounts that contain insufficient funds to buy time,” according to the affidavit. “When Yohai can no longer sustain the ruse with bouncing checks, he typically asserts he has wired the money back to the victim, and sends the victim fake documentation of a wire transfer, insisting that there must be some banking mistake to explain why the funds never arrive.”
Yohai divorced Jessica Manafort — daughter of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — in August 2017. Paul Manafort was found guilty in August on eight counts of financial crimes and faces sentencing in Virginia in February.