Granite Bay Fast Food-Real Estate Mogul, Who Had Elk Grove Properties, Pleads Guilty to $22 Million Fraud



January 16, 2018 |

A well known real estate and fast food mogul plead guilty yesterday to charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and making false statements to a federally insured financial institution. The plea was entered at the US District Court in Sacramento by Abolghasseni “Abe” Alizadeh, 59, of Granite Bay, California. 

Alizadeh, who built his Kobra Properties, with a chain of Jack in the Box restaurants as its centerpiece, saw his empire collapse during the Great Recession. The guilty admission stems from a scheme between 2005 through 2006 where Alizadeh defrauded six area banks out of $22 million.

Evidence presented by Federal prosecutors showed Alizadeh, with the help of co-defendant Mary Sue Weaver, who was an escrow officer with Placer Title Co. in Roseville, inflated the purchase price of properties acquired by Kobra. By boosting the prices, the banks loaned more funds than standard lending practices dictate, and with that money, Alizadeh propped-up the rest of his portfolio which was already in decline.

In the time leading up to Kobra's problems, Alizadeh enjoyed a relatively high profile in the Sacramento region for his Horatio Alger-type life story. A student immigrant from Iran, Alizadeh attended Chico State where he worked at a Jack in the Box restaurant.

Alizadeh went on to become the largest franchiser of that fast food restaurant in Northern California with over 70 locations. From the chain of Jack in the Box outlets, Alizadeh expanded his business empire to commercial real estate development.

The empire collapsed in the Great Recession resulting in a bankruptcy filing that approached $400 million in debt. Alizadeh also ran afoul of the State of California for failure to pay sales and payroll taxes. 

Kobra properties in Elk Grove included the Bond Plaza strip center on the corner of Elk Grove-Florin and Bond roads. Alizadeh also developed and operated the TGIF Friday's on Laguna Boulevard that now houses the Chicago Fire restaurant.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 23, 2018, in US District Court before Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. Alizadeh, who remains free on bail, and Weaver face a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison on each count and a $1 million fine.



     







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