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Terry Goddard Announces Indictment in Home Investment Fraud Case

(Phoenix, Ariz. - October 26, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced the indictments of Anthony Zandonatti and Andrew Silverstein, both 33 of Tucson, on multiple criminal charges including conspiracy, fraud, theft, money laundering, and illegally conducting an enterprise.

Zandonatti and Silverstein owned and operated AZI Rent2Own L.L.C (also known as Arizona Investments and AZI), a company claiming to “specialize” in mortgage investment and rent-to-own programs. The indictment alleges that between 2006 and 2008, 25 homes were involved in either straw-buyer or investor schemes perpetuated by AZI Rent2Own, where approximately 45 lending institutions were defrauded and 31 renters were victimized. Approximately $2.9 million in foreclosure losses occurred because of the alleged result these schemes.

FBI agents began investigating both Zandonatti and Silverstein approximately one year ago when numerous consumer complaints were filed against both suspects. The FBI determined that the suspects were orchestrating an elaborate scheme which defrauded both investors and the renters of numerous homes in Pima County using straw-buyers or investors to flip the properties, many of which had been rented to tenants under a rent-to-own agreement.

This case was investigated by the Arizona Division of the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Jette.

A copy of the indictment and photos of both defendants are attached. For more information, contact Mika Marquart at (602) 542-7714, or Manny Johnson of the FBI at 602-650-3201.

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