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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CBS13/AP) – A Sacramento-area restaurant owner and commercial real estate developer is admitting to frauds that cost banks more than $22 million.

Fifty-nine-year-old Abolghasseni Alizadeh of Granite Bay pleaded guilty Friday to wire fraud, bank fraud and making false statements to a federally insured financial institution.

Alizadeh owned dozens of Jack In The Box, TGI Fridays, Sonic Burger and Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants in the area. At one point his assets were estimated at $1 billion.

But Kobra Properties, where he was a principal partner filed for bankruptcy in 2008, forcing many restaurants to close.

Federal prosecutors say he fraudulently purchased land that he planned to develop by submitting altered purchase contracts to banks that greatly inflated the purported purchase price.

As a result, he would get substantial amounts of cash – sometimes millions of dollars – as the deals closed, while he avoided making full down payments or sometimes any down payment.

A co-defendant, 64-year-old Mary Sue Weaver of Scottsdale, Arizona, previously pleaded guilty to fraud. She formerly worked at a title company in Lincoln.

Both face sentencing in March.

Over the years, Alizadeh has pleaded guilty to not paying state taxes, with many of his companies declaring bankruptcy.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.


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