Federal Probe into Bank Fraud in North Suburbs Adds Two New Defendants
CHICAGO — A federal investigation that previously led to bank fraud and identity theft charges against a north suburban businessman has resulted in indictments against two additional defendants, including the businessman’s brother.
JASON SCHIFF, 40, of Lincolnwood, is charged with three counts of bank fraud, according to a superseding indictment returned July 24, 2019, in U.S. District Court in Chicago. The superseding indictment also charges Jason Schiff’s brother, YALE SCHIFF, 44, of Riverwoods, with 12 counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Yale Schiff was initially charged in the case last month. The Schiffs pleaded not guilty today during arraignments before U.S. Magistrate Judge Young B. Kim in Chicago.
A separate indictment returned July 17, 2019, charges Yale Schiff’s business associate, DAVID IZSAK, 44, of Chicago, with eleven counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. During the investigation, federal authorities seized Izsak’s 57-foot Carver 570 Voyager yacht known as the “Flying Lady.” The indictment seeks forfeiture of the yacht, as well as a personal money judgment against Izsak of approximately $4 million. Izsak pleaded not guilty at his arraignment earlier this month.
The indictments were announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Jeffrey S. Sallet, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the FBI; and Craig Goldberg, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Chicago. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sheri H. Mecklenburg.
According to the charges against the Schiffs, Yale Schiff made false statements in loan applications to obtain millions of dollars in mortgage loans secured by a variety of properties. The charges allege that Yale Schiff filed with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds fraudulent letters from financial institutions claiming that loans on the properties were paid in full and that the mortgages were released, when, in fact, the loans were not paid in full and the mortgages had not been released. Yale Schiff then kept the financing paid by the banks, as well as proceeds from the eventual sales of the properties, without paying the mortgages, the indictment states. The fraud allegedly committed by Jason Schiff arose out of bank loans for vehicles and a loan secured by real estate purchased from Yale Schiff.
The charges against Izsak accuse him of fraudulently obtaining loans secured by real estate and vehicles. Izsak allegedly submitted or caused to be submitted to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds fake letters purporting to be from the lender, purporting to congratulate Izsak for paying his loan in full and releasing the lien. In reality, the letters were not from the lender, the loans were not paid in full, and the liens were not released, the indictment states.
Izsak and Yale Schiff are each accused of fraudulently obtaining loans by using names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth that did not belong to them. Izsak also used a stolen identity to obtain a credit card, while Yale Schiff used fake and stolen identities to fraudulently obtain a charge card at Nordstrom department store and loans for a Jeep Grand Cherokee and a Lexus RX350, the indictment states.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each bank fraud count is punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, while each count of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory sentence of two years. If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.