Jewish Banker Ezri Namvar Indicted for Fraud

LOS ANGELES Iranian Jewish banker and real estate investor Ezri Namvar (pictured, left), 59, was indicted on Sept. 21 by a federal grand jury on five counts of fraud….

Namvar’s indictment charges that he returned only $4 million of the $27 million NFE’s clients’ 1031 funds gave his company for safekeeping, and that these funds were used by Namvar without authorization for various purposes unrelated to the clients. The indictment also alleges Namvar, with the help of Tabatabai, used NFE’s clients’ funds to pay off creditors and investors of Namvar’s investment company, Namco Capital Group Inc. as well as Namvar’s personal creditors….

The U.S. Attorney’s office in downtown L.A. and Namvar’s attorney did not return calls for comment on the case. A. David Youssefyeh, a Century City Iranian Jewish attorney representing some of Namvar’s Iranian Jewish creditors in other civil cases against Namvar, said his clients and other creditors who lost their life savings to Namvar have expressed satisfaction that the charges have been brought against the financier.

“For two years, Mr. Namvar has been lounging around in his mansion in Brentwood while they [the creditors] have had to pickup what is left of their finances to try to squeeze out a living—for quite a few that has meant being evicted from their homes,” Youssefyeh said. “Although the indictment can’t put their lives back together, at least his victims know that Mr. Namvar will not be able to walk away without any consequence to him either.”…

Separately, another investment scandal hit the Iranian Jewish community in early January of this year, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a lawsuit against John Farahi, 52, a popular Iranian Jewish radio talk show host who also served as an investment adviser and stockbroker for local Iranian Jews. The suit alleges that Farahi and his Beverly Hills firm, NewPoint Financial Services Inc., defrauded Iranian American investors of millions of dollars and that Farahi, his company, his wife, Gissou Rastegar Farahi, and the firm’s controller, Elaheh Amouei, misled investors by telling them their funds were being invested in unsecured corporate bonds, FDIC-insured certificates of deposit, government bonds, and corporate bonds issued by companies backed by funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). The complaint against Farahi alleges that investors’ money was transferred into personal accounts controlled by Farahi and his wife to build their mansion in Beverly Hills, as well as into risky stock market options that resulted in more than $18 million in losses for investors.

A third alleged Ponzi scheme that rocked the local Iranian Jewish community came to light this year when lawsuits were brought against Joseph Boodaie, also a Beverly Hills Iranian Jewish businessman who lent money and offered community members higher rates of return on their savings than most banks. Last year, nearly a dozen lawsuits were filed by various L.A.-area Iranian Jews and other businesses alleging that Boodaie had defrauded them of a combined total of close to $100 million, according to one local attorney.

Read the full article in the Jewish Journal

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