Bailey suspects, associates left behind $6 million trail of bad loans
By Mary Fricker, Bob Butler and Thomas Peele, The Chauncey Bailey Project
By the time Yusuf Bey IV became CEO of Your Black Muslim Bakery, after the shooting death of his older brother Antar Bey on Oct. 25, 2005, mortgages were one of the hottest get-rich-quick schemes going and Bey IV, 19, was already plugged into the action, according to charges filed against him by the Alameda County district attorney.
Within 15 months, he and seven associates got at least 19 loans totaling more than $6 million from 10 different lenders to buy 12 houses in Oakland, Richmond, Hayward and Antioch, according to the Alameda County district attorney, bankruptcy court records and real estate documents.
Of these, Bey IV and his girlfriend, Alaia Bey, borrowed $2.4 million to buy five houses during just seven months in 2006.
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Like many Americans, they probably expected prices to keep rising and thought they would make big profits when they sold or refinanced the houses, hopefully quickly. Instead, the market tanked, making resale or refinance impossible. Bey IV and his associates made almost no payments, and lenders foreclosed on most of the houses within a year.
In seven of the 12 purchases, including one by Bey IV, investigators claimed the group used fake identities to qualify for the loans. Bey IV and four others have been charged with multiple counts of forgery, grand theft and identify theft. Bey IV’s trial is on hold pending the outcome of other charges against him, including the murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey in August 2007. Two others have been convicted and are serving time at San Quentin. Alaia Bey has not been charged with any wrongdoing.
Bey IV’s foray into real estate investing wasn’t a total loss for him and his associates. Prosecutors claim some members of the ring kept part of the loan money for themselves. As for Bey IV, he collected rent for at least one home while making few mortgage payments, and he flashed around his loan papers to inspire loyalty among his followers, promising he could get big bucks for them too.
“He’s like, ‘You can get like a $100,000, $500,000, probably a million dollar loan … your credit can be so good, you can go get a house, just signing your name,” bakery worker Devaughndre Broussard told Deputy District Attorney Chris Lameiro, according to a transcript of a March interview. “He showed us hisself how he … like $100,000 loan he showed us. He showed us houses he bought off that credit (expletive). ‘Hey man, you see this house? Man, I own a house.'”
The ploy was effective, Broussard said.
“You tempt a man with $100,000, however he gotta get it, he gone be ready to do it, you feel me?” Broussard said.
In Broussard’s case, Bey IV wanted him and Mackey to kill Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey, according to Broussard.
“He’s like, ‘man, ya’ll do this, man, y’all gone be set for life,” he said Bey IV told them.
Investigators got their first clues about Bey IV’s mortgage ring on July 5, 2006, when bakery associate Marlon Campbell, alias Amir Isanazim Wadi and Yahweh Ziyad, brandished a pistol at an ex-girlfriend in front of the downtown Oakland police station and was arrested, according to a summary of the case prepared by Campbell’s attorney.
Inside his backpack, police found Alameda County Superior Court forms, for legally changing a person’s name, bearing the forged signature of Judge Julie Conger. They found credit reports and bank statements in other people’s names, lists of Arabic names, a to-do list for buying property and a notepad with names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of birth.
Among the names were Yasir Human and Kirk Summer, which had been used earlier that year by Bey IV and bakery associate Ajuwon Muhammad to get home loans and buy cars, prosecutors would later allege.
Investigators concluded that Campbell, who had a misdemeanor forgery conviction in his past, was helping bakery people and others create new identities to qualify for loans to buy cars and houses. He pleaded no contest to counterfeiting, forgery and assault with a deadly weapon, and he is serving a 12-year sentence at San Quentin.
Among the seven purchases that investigators suspected of involving false identities were:
–June 6, 2006: Bey IV, using the name Yasir Human, got two loans totaling $550,000 from The CIT Group to buy 2514 61st Ave. in Oakland. A man named Shakir Zaid confirmed that Bey IV worked for him, according to a report by district attorney inspector Philip Dito. A W-2 from 2005 listed Human’s wages as $124,666.
A Zaid company got $25,000 from the proceeds of the loan, according to the escrow file, Dito reported. A document said the seller had agreed to pay $25,000 for home upgrades. Bey IV’s agent was Sam Gbilia of Antioch, a notary told Dito. Gbilia declined to comment.
State and county investigators said they discovered apparent links to Zaid in numerous vehicle and real estate fraud cases. But Zaid said he was not involved in any wrongdoing. He said police questioned him and let him go when they realized their mistake. No charges have been filed against him. Alameda County Deputy District Attorney David Lim, who is prosecuting the Bey IV group, declined comment.
Zaid is the pastor of Rapture church and Millennium International Ministries in Sobrante Park. He said he befriended Bey IV after Bey IV’s father and brother died. Bey IV told police that Zaid was his business manager. After Bey IV was arrested Aug. 3, 2007, for allegedly kidnapping two women and torturing one, Zaid wrote a supportive letter to the judge, asking the judge to “please take the myriad of Yusuf talents and accomplishments into consideration when making decisions about his future.”
“I was just trying to help kids not make bad decisions,” Zaid told The Chauncey Bailey Project.
Inspector Dito said in reports he prepared in 2006 and 2007 that Zaid and companies connected to him were being investigated by New Century Mortgage, the Alameda County Regional Auto Theft Task Force and the California Department of Real Estate.
New Century claimed it had discovered hundreds of loans involving Millennium International where the same five addresses appeared in the loan applications.
The auto theft task force was investigating the alleged theft of four vehicles by Bey IV and bakery associates Ajuwon Muhammad and Dyamen Williams. They used the names Kirk Summer, Jason Peterson and Yasir Human. Shakir Zaid was also “involved,” the task force said.
The state Department of Real Estate said it had gotten complaints of a refinance scam in which payments in the range of $40,000 to $100,000 were inexplicably diverted from loan proceeds to a Zaid company called Millennium Property Management.
Zaid told The Chauncey Bailey Project he provided referrals and property management services for a real estate company, but he said he was not aware that anyone was wrongly using his name, his companies or his addresses.
–Oct. 25, 2005 (the day Antar Bey was killed): Halfin, using the name Jason Peterson, got two loans totaling $410,000 from Long Beach Mortgage to buy 7601 Lockwood St. in Oakland. He falsely said he worked for Shakir Zaid, and he gave Zaid’s address as his own, investigators said. The case is on hold, pending the outcome of the kidnapping case.
–Dec. 14, 2005: Halfin, using the name Jason Peterson, got two loans totaling $640,000 from Finance America to buy 9217 Sunnyside St. in Oakland., according to charges filed in the case, which is also pending. Halfin listed Millennium International Ministries as his employer, and Millennium’s address was on his driver’s license.
–Dec. 21, 2005: Maurice Cotton, who had known Marlon Campbell for years, used the name Jason Peterson for a $610,000 loan from Meritage Mortgage Company to buy 1221 Campbell St. in Oakland. Campbell was illegally paid $25,000 from the loan proceeds, prosecutors alleged.
A year later, on Feb. 7, 2007, Cotton used his real name to buy a house at 6826 Avenal Ave. in Oakland from Bey IV’s brother-in-law, Faris Hadir. Three months later, Bey IV and associates tortured a woman at the Avenal Ave. house, prosecutors allege.
On Nov. 29, 2007, Cotton was charged with forgery and grand theft in the Campbell St. purchase. An outstanding warrant was issued for his arrest.
–Feb. 1, 2006: Ajuwon Muhammad, using the name Kirk Summer, got two loans totaling $550,000 from Long Beach Mortgage to buy 25629 Lander Ave. in Hayward. A Zaid company verified rent and employment, according to a Suspicious Activity Report filed by Long Beach Mortgage.
Other members of the bakery family also tried their hand at real estate during the boom years. Esperanza Johnson, who lived with bakery founder Yusuf Bey from 1968 to 1988, had three of his children and continues to be close to some members of the Bey family, has racked up a string of real-estate deals tainted with allegations of deceit since 2003. Alleged victims claim to have lost at least $1.77 million in property, cash and equity.
Last year the California Department of Real Estate filed charges against her and her business, Signature One Mortgage & Real Estate in Pittsburg, alleging they’d made misrepresentations during real-estate transactions; lost a lawsuit in which they were accused of fraud and deceit; employed an unlicensed broker or salesman; and employed licensed salespeople without a written contract or without notifying the department as required by law.
Johnson and her husband, Antron Thurman, lost their Antioch home to foreclosure in December. Her real estate license was revoked June 28 after a judge found she’s not “sufficiently honest” to keep it.
Chauncey Bailey Project reporters and researchers contributed to this report.
–Two years later: The Chauncey Bailey slaying
–The Chauncey Bailey slaying: Key players
–From Texas to Oakland, the elder Bey’s path to the bakery
–Yusuf Bey built business empire with questionable tactics
–Welfare money-maker for senior Bey
–Bey’s security firms important financial arm of his businesses
–Yusuf Bey IV grew up in prominent yet troubled bakery
–Bailey suspects, associates left behind $6 million trail of bad loans
–Security business at Marriott earns praise
–The Oakland Post pushes forward despite loss of its prolific editor
–Chauncey Bailey’s family still in pain two years after killing