MODESTO -- Brothers who operated used-car lots in Modesto were found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, the U.S. attorney's office announced Thursday.
After a three-day trial, a jury made the decision about defendants Abdel Baset Jawad, 38, and Abdul Muniem Mohamad Jawad, 39, both of Modesto.
The Jawads owned various automobile dealerships in Stanislaus and Merced Counties, including Own-A-Car, The Auto Store and Auction 2 U in Modesto.
Employees of the dealerships would help customers find vehicles to purchase. Many of the customers, however, were unable to qualify for vehicle loans.
The Jawads, and others acting at their direction and on their behalf, conspired to help the customers prepare misleading and false information for submission to financial institutions to obtain loans, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Applications included names of employers for whom customers did not work, or, if customers were employed, inflated earnings amounts. Some customers signed these loan applications, while others had no knowledge of how their signatures appeared on them.
The Jawads are to be sentenced April 8. They face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine or both, as well as a period of supervised release, forfeiture and restitution.