CHICAGO - A Skokie man has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison for selling millions of dollars in phony mortgages.
Albert Rossini, 73, was convicted by a jury in 2018 on multiple counts of mail and wire fraud.
Rossini, the owner of Devon Street Investments in Lincolnwood, schemed with an attorney and two others to sell phony mortgages, prosecutors said.
At trial, prosecutors said that evidence showed that Rossini plotted with father-and-son co-defendants Babajan Khoshabe, of Chicago, and Anthony Khoshabe, of Skokie, to fraudulently induce more than a dozen victims into purchasing purported mortgage notes on apartment buildings in or near foreclosure.
The defendants fraudulently promised that investors would receive title to the properties at the conclusion of the foreclosure process, when in reality, the defendants did not own the mortgage notes, prosecutors said.
Instead, the victims' funds were "misappropriated and used to make Ponzi-type payments" to several of the investors, prosecutors said.
The victims provided a total of more than $7 million in investment money to the defendants.
Prosecutors said Rossini fraudulently pocketed more than $2.5 million of it.
Another federal jury convicted the Khoshabes for their roles in the scheme in 2019. They are still awaiting sentencing.
A fourth defendant, Chicago attorney Thomas Murphy, said he validated the sale of the mortgage notes through a phony "Guaranty Agreement," prosecutors said. Murphy prepared the agreement and gave it to Rossini to present to the victims. He pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and is awaiting sentencing.