Federal Grand Jury Indicts President of Discovery Sales, Inc. in Concord

May 19, 2014 12:25 pm · 42 comments

A home sales executive was arrested in Concord this morning on federal charges of engaging in a $154 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Ayman Shahid, 38, of Danville, the president of Discovery Sales Inc. of Concord, is charged in a federal indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and 17 counts of committing bank fraud between 2006 and 2008.

The indictment was issued under seal by a federal grand jury in Oakland on Thursday and unsealed after Shahid’s arrest today.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said Shahid was arrested in Concord at 8:45 a.m. today and was scheduled to be brought before a federal magistrate in Oakland for an initial appearance at 11:30 a.m.

Discovery Sales is a sales arm of Discovery Home Builders and Albert D. Seeno Construction Co., according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges that at the height of the nation’s mortgage and banking crisis in 2007, Shahid organized a scheme to cause banks to approve mortgage loans for unqualified buyers on the basis of false and misleading applications and for inflated home prices.

The total sales price of the properties was more than $227 million and the scheme caused mortgage loans worth more than $154 million to go into foreclosure or short sale proceedings, according to the indictment.

The purpose of the scheme was to shield Discovery Home Builders and Seeno Construction from the effects of the economic downtown and the decline in East Bay housing prices, the indictment said.

The builders’ bank lines of credit were partly based on home sales prices and the decline in the real estate market raised the prospect that the credit lines would be decreased or eliminated, according to the indictment.

Shahid is accused of encouraging the sale of multiple homes to single buyers, including Discovery Sales employees and ones who falsely represented that they would personally own and occupy each house. The multiple sales were hidden from the banks and other lenders that provided the mortgages for the homes, the indictment said.

Shahid also allegedly gave the buyers incentive gifts and assistance with down payments and mortgage payments while knowing that the lenders would not have approved the mortgages if they had been aware of the aid, according to the indictment.

The charges carry a potential sentence of up to 30 years in prison if Shahid is convicted.

{ 42 comments }

1 The Realist May 19, 2014 at 12:32 PM

He was just one of many planned scapegoats to shield the parent company.
He was just “following orders” I would garner.
Yet, someone how Seeno & co. get away with practically murder in Contra Costa.
I say, BAN Seeno development from the Concord Weapon Station Redevelopment. They have s*****y practices, shady employees and substandard materials and labor.

2 Also.............. May 19, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Don’t forget the racketeering charges in Nevada……….
Oh this could get fun

3 The kapitser May 19, 2014 at 12:56 PM

It’s like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. You start at the bottom and slowly work your way up until it’s all gone. The tube may have a bit more left in it. The Fed’s will just keep squeezing until their is no more. Face with a bunch of jail time, it’s amazing what comes out of you when your squeezed.

4 Terry Kremin May 19, 2014 at 1:10 PM

@The realist #1 – The only way you are going to ban Seeno from being the weapon station primary contractor/developer is by getting rid of the three incumbents for city council this November.
You want change – use all three of your votes for three new members that aren’t getting donations from seeno and seeno related interests.

Voters need to decide whether to use one vote just to make sure they get 1 person (so 1 vote out of 5, and 3 votes make the decision), or if they want to get three people that aren’t seeno pockets types.

as long as 3 pro Seeno members sit on council, seeno will continue to get the jobs and favors.

5 average joe May 19, 2014 at 1:14 PM

Agree with The Realist, don’t let the scammers and cheats profit any more off of the cities of central and east county. Seeno and their mob have proven time and again that they will do whatever it takes to line their pockets. Having seen their work first hand more people should be aware of just how shady their companies are. Its also time for our local politicians to say no to their campaign money, no more bought favors or influence!

6 stacee May 19, 2014 at 1:18 PM

Seeno in trouble again. Seeno homes suck anyways

7 Anonymous May 19, 2014 at 2:00 PM

I will not vote for anyone who takes money from the garbage company ,Seeno or NAMBLA

8 Glen May 19, 2014 at 2:27 PM

Terry Kremin,
Are you the guy at the bicycle station that filled my tire, Thursday Todos Santos Farmenr’s Market?

9 Elwood May 19, 2014 at 2:29 PM

Seeno companies should be prosecuted under the RICO statutes.

10 anon May 19, 2014 at 2:40 PM

I wonder if this will now freeze construction on Walnut Ave. where the 80 year old Humphrey home was torn down…

11 how does that taste? May 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM

say goodbye to your danville home… punk.

12 anonanonagain May 19, 2014 at 3:32 PM

Gee, big surprise here. Seeno is a crook plain and simple. He and his cronies are corrupt. Just like The Kapitser said, it’s like squeezing a tube of toothpaste. Can’t wait til they get to the bottom of the tube……

13 Seeno is Trouble May 19, 2014 at 3:32 PM

I was looking at a home being built in Pittsburg a few years back. It was around 4pm and when we walked by a man pulled up and demanded we get off the property. we explained that we were there looking at the house to possibly buy it. He said he was the president of Seeno homes and we had to leave. He started screaming and freaking out and would not let us leave and blocked us in the driveway. When I tried to walk back to my car he started to take off and hit me with his car. and then sped away. When he hit me it threw me to the ground and I hit my head on the curb. I was knocked unconscious. I woke up being loaded into an ambulance. The man left the scene and the police were there. I told them what happened. I spent three days in the hospital with head injures and a bunch of lacerations. Apparently he returned to the scene after I was taken away in a different car. He “Claimed” he didn’t think he hit anyone. Seeno has Pittsburg police along with the council and many other cites that the police report was written that it was my fault and our stories conflicted. Must be nice to be so well contacted you can get away with anything. They didn’t even take an accident report until my insurance company demanded it. The man that hit me was Ayman Shahid!!

14 Cancer of Corruption May 19, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Place blame squarely where it belongs, with politicians that were bought and changed laws. They claimed it was to promote home ownership ……
People got hurt and the rich rich who gave the campaign contributions got richer.

15 Old School May 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Those native Concordians are out of control,

16 Terry Kremin May 19, 2014 at 4:03 PM

@Gen #8 –

No – it wasn’t me, was at my daughters soccer practice.
But good to hear people stepped up for you!

17 Anonymous May 19, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Hope he has to serve time.

18 anon May 19, 2014 at 4:14 PM

If anyone wants to save walnut; Get together as a group and go to your City Council Meetings.

19 Michelle May 19, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Seeno companies are not going to get prosecuted in any way. Too much money in a dying economy.

20 Shelly May 19, 2014 at 4:52 PM

It’d be great if his home gets foreclosed.

21 @13 May 19, 2014 at 5:09 PM

Do you expect anybody to believe that story?

22 Minutemom May 19, 2014 at 6:32 PM

@10 anon – If that happens, all of us in the neighborhood will get to enjoy the big, ugly mess his wrecking crew left behind. Too bad that indictment could not have happened before they demolished everything. :(

23 anon May 19, 2014 at 6:46 PM

@ #21 Why not believe 13′s story? Senno “people” are what they are. Are you one of them?

24 ordinaryperson May 19, 2014 at 7:11 PM

it would be good if this time the indictments stick. maybe they will not have the powers to reach the attorney general. it will be interesting to see who all falls now.

25 slagheap May 19, 2014 at 7:33 PM

which people sitting on the council take seeno money? which ones don’t?

26 slagheap May 19, 2014 at 9:09 PM

have any council members vowed not to accept seeno money? if so, which?

27 @slagheap, #25,26 May 19, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Even if they “vow” not to accept Seeno’s money, the Seeno dollars would just be diverted to another “donor” and then given to the lucky councilmembers, or Seeno could form a PAC(Political Action Committee) to process the money for him. He could “give” his employees money to donate, just one of several sneaky ways to funnel money where they want it to go.

28 surrounded in pittsburg May 19, 2014 at 10:59 PM

Seeno & family are also buying up homes in Pittsburg, some foreclosures, some fixers, and fixing them up and then renting them out – sometimes to Seeno employees. My home is surrounded by rental homes – and if more homes go on the market as owners age or move, the neighborhood will be filled with renters. I want neighbors who will be proud of their homes and be involved in the neighborhood – not just people who have “landed” in a place for a few months and don’t care. The properties will start to look run down and pull down the values of all the homes in the area. The houses surrounding my house all have 3 to 5 cars parked out front almost every day. Kid toys are left on my lawn or in my driveway, making my yard look like a dumping ground.

And why would Seen get in the landlord business? Well, how better to convince the City Council that there is an insufficient supply of available homes to buy! If there are no existing homes to buy in a certain area, then he can push to be able to build more of his no-corner-is-square, no-doors-are-hung-plumb, homes in current open space. And with no one on the City Councils willing to try to force Seeno to pay to upgrade current traffic infrastructure, there will just be more and more cars on overcrowded streets.

And if you want to know which council members take Seen money, just look at any Seeno-owned property and see which candidates’ signs are posted. In Pittsburg , check the car wash on Railroad near the Chevron or the shopping center on the corner of Bailey & Leland. Whichever candidates post signs there will never get my vote.

29 @Slagheap May 19, 2014 at 11:50 PM

I don’t think Edi received any money from them or from POA and Garaventas.

30 Ab May 20, 2014 at 6:55 AM

@shelly

Mind your own business. You don’t know the whole story. I hope your home gets foreclosed on!

31 JCJ Dad May 20, 2014 at 7:16 AM

WOW. My wife and I now live in one of those houses! The former owner was an employee of Discovery Builders who “bought” the house, though my understanding is that the company supposedly continued to pay the mortgage for a few years, which I never understood until now. When those payments ended, the employee eventually had to file for bankruptcy and short sell the house, which had fallen into some disrepair due to neglect during that short time. I kind of feel sorry for the employee, but I guess a lot of people made bad decisions around that time.

32 Cody May 20, 2014 at 7:28 AM

I went to high school with this dude…. Ayman Shahid. He was a shady character back then, so this doesn’t suprise me one bit. He was friends with the wacko seeno’s from what I recall. Enjoy your jail time.

33 Connie Dobbs May 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM

#27 Well, if Shelly robs a bank (which is basically what mortgage fraud is) she should have her house taken away.

If there’s any part of this story that makes your father or husband look less criminal maybe you should back away from the computer and pay a visit to his lawyers.

34 Community May 20, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I live in the San Marco area in Pittsburg and I agree with some of the posts above. I paid good money for my house and Seeno is like the godfather around here. I bought from Lyon homes thank goodness. For a few years nothing was taken care of up here not the street lights, the landscaping etc. Suddenly when Seeno starts selling homes up here again you see the city of Pittsburgh up here everyday doing landscape maintenance etc. It sucks living in a city truly run by Seeno. We are planning on moving back to concord when the market gets a little stronger.

35 You Fools May 20, 2014 at 1:58 PM

You middle class fools, you want everything to be so neat and tidy, you don’t want to know the nitty gritty of why YOU are able to obtain financing, and cheap credit. You want to finance cars, homes, have retirement accounts, finance your electronics, and “maintain” your silly middle class lifestyle. However, you have less than zero of a clue how economics work.

If you are looking for blame, look no further than yourselves, the consumers, the home buyers, and the W2 employee.

You would like to think your hands are clean because of your ignorance, but I can readily assure you, they are not.

36 Anonymous May 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Ayman, it would be great seeing you at DelaSalle’s 20 year reunion. Just don’t wear a orange jumpsuit. Class of 94.

37 Why? May 20, 2014 at 6:27 PM

Why is Seeno still in business? Why isn’t that family in prison? Do they seriously have every CA politician and enforcer in their pockets?

38 Anonymous2 May 20, 2014 at 8:47 PM

What goes around, comes around…..KARMA! Would love front row seats to watch him hopefully get what he deserves.

39 class of '94 May 20, 2014 at 10:12 PM

I hung out with Ayman a lot during high school, he was a piece of crap.. One thing he was good at was never getting the short end of the stick. He always was looked out for himself , not much of a stand up guy. Well old friend federal prison will be just like DLS.. All boys, dont drop the soap playa

40 @You Fools #35 May 20, 2014 at 10:27 PM

Please enlighten us fools with your wisdom.

41 BagsFlyFree May 21, 2014 at 9:46 AM

@ Mayor…. Can we get a better “scoop” on who funded the campaigns for our incumbant city council members? I think the city tax payers here deserve to know whose pockets are being topped off by this scammy company or affiliated PAC’s.

We as a city need to stand up and make sure to stop the $$ spigot on Discovery leading CNWS development to rid ourselves of this black eye. This company does not deserve to build in our city while any of this litigation is going on. Losses could be huge if they are sued into oblivion by banks or other investors wanting settlements.

BFF Out!

42 Karma May 22, 2014 at 9:07 AM

I also knew Ayman in high school. Saw him sell out one of what we thought was his good friend… Guess what goes around does end up coming back around. Funny how things work out.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: