WASHINGTON – A northern Virginia jeweler who used his businesses to commit crimes will be spending more time behind bars.
A federal judge sentenced 41-year-old Robert Mikail to four years and four months in prison for mortgage fraud.
Prosecutors said Mikail used five “straw buyers” to obtain properties for him. The buyers would list Opus Jewelry, of Ashburn, as their place of employment on loan applications. Mikail would falsely claim the buyers worked for him there in order to get the loans approved. He also worked with two loan officers who either were convicted of, or pleaded guilty to, fraud charges.
In all, $20 million in fraudulent loans were taken out on 36 properties in northern Virginia.
The buyers ultimately defaulted on their loans, but Mikail managed to walk away with nearly $900,000.
This was not the first time Mikail used a jewelry store to commit crimes. In 2012, he was sentenced to three years in prison for stealing diamonds. Customers at his Vima Jewelry location, in Great Falls, had their diamonds replaced with less valuable ones.