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Suburban pair sentenced, ordered to pay millions after bank fraud scheme

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Two suburban men will go to prison and pay millions in restitution fees after pleading guilty to bank fraud charges.

Charnpal Ghuman, 39, of Palatine, and Aga Khan, 39, of Bloomingdale, made over $40 million between 2006 and 2009 through a scheme in which they would “flip” gas stations by falsifying bank documents, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Illinois said.

According to the attorney’s office, Ghuman and Khan conspired with Akash Brahmbhatt, a loan officer at American Enterprise Bank, to submit false application documents that would get them loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Association.

Brahmbhatt, 44, of Spring, Texas pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges, as did accountant Shital Mehta, 53, of Elk Grove Village, who falsified tax returns to help qualify more than half of the loan applicants for financing, the attorney’s office said.

The statement released by the attorney’s office details how Ghuman and Khan set up corporate entities to buy gas stations throughout the Midwest, and then sold them at a higher price. They arranged for financing on behalf of the buyers through loans from American Enterprise Bank, and then walked away with millions of dollars in proceeds after the buyers defaulted.

Ghuman faces five years and six months in prison, and owes $2 million in personal restitution to the bank, the state’s attorney’s office said. Khan faces three years and owes $1 million to the bank personally. The rest of the $14.3 million will be paid jointly between the two.

Brahmbatt will serve three years in prison and pay a personal restitution of $1 million to the bank, the state’s attorney’s office said. An additional sum of $10,843,899 will be filed jointly with Ghuman, who also pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.

Mehta faces one year and one day in prison, and owes $500,000 in restitution.