Orange County Woman and Associate Face Sentencing in Credit Fraud Scheme

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - An Orange County woman who used her credit union job to secretly open lines of credit for her online boyfriend, who drew down more than $1 million, faces a federal prison term when she is sentenced today.

Indira Mohabir, 45, of La Palma, was convicted in 2018 by a jury in downtown Los Angeles of conspiracy to commit insider and bank fraud, along with more than a dozen fraud counts, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors are asking for nearly five years behind bars and restitution. The defense sentencing position is not available.

Her co-defendant, Phillip Cook, 54, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty three years ago to one count of bank fraud. He is also scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.

Mohabir, who worked as a business loan processor at the former Western Federal Credit Union in Hawthorne, met Cook in November 2014 through a hotline the credit union established for business customers.

In exchange for opening about $3 million in credit lines and hiding them from her employer, Cook promised to take Mohabir on romantic getaways, and sent her a $50,000 check and 18 white roses. Although Mohabir and Cook had not yet met in person during the time of the scheme from late 2014 to early 2015, the idea of marriage was floated in texts, according to court papers.

Mohabir's attorney argued at trial that his client had been groomed by a con man who played on her emotions and convinced her he was a businessman.

Mohabir helped Cook open nearly 30 credit lines, including more than a dozen platinum business Visa cards, evidence showed.

In a sentencing memorandum filed in Los Angeles federal court, prosecutors wrote that in messages sent to Cook in the months and years following her arrest, Mohabir ``demonstrated that she would do it all again if she could.''

After landing a job at another bank after she was fired from the credit union, ``texts and emails show that she was again trying to abuse her inside position to open even more credit lines for Cook,'' according to the memo.

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