A judge sentenced a West Hollywood man, Jeffrey Craig Yohai, 37, to 110 months in federal prison for defrauding investors, lenders, friends and family members out of about $6.7 million, via a series of scams he ran while out on bond after pleading guilty in a prior federal case. Yohai pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, stemming from two separate cases.
In February 2018, Yohai pleaded guilty to a scheme that involved more than $6 million in real estate loans and investments that supposedly would be used to purchase and rehabilitate properties in the Hollywood Hills and New York City. Yohai defaulted on the loans and the properties went into foreclosure – which Yohai tried to delay with bankruptcy filings. While free on bond and awaiting sentencing, Yohai committed additional crimes. In June 2019, he pleaded guilty to a loan fraud scheme related to two properties involving the original federal case. Yohai submitted a loan request that contained inflated appraisals. He also tried to defraud another lender as he tried to refinance the two properties, and Yohai contacted yet another lender with dramatically inflated appraisals to obtain refinancing – an effort that was rebuffed when that third lender learned of Yohai’s guilty plea..
Yohai also defrauded the owner of a rental property and tried to lull the owner by showing him a $60,000 check he falsely claimed had been remitted from his ex-wife’s account. He also sold non-existent artist passes to the music festival in Coachella.