Gilbert woman accused of bank fraud, wire fraud

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX (AP) -- An Arizona woman who once ran a charity organization has been indicted on charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors say 55-year-old Farzaneh Akhavi, of Gilbert, pleaded not guilty to all 82 counts Monday. Her trial is scheduled for Oct. 7.

Akhavi was owner and president of the California-based Cyrus Society, which had its charitable classification revoked by the Internal Revenue Service in 2011.

Prosecutors say Akhavi befriended an unidentified brother and sister in 2008 and entered into a business partnership.

They say Ahkavi fraudulently obtained a $211,000 mortgage and a $37,000 car loan in one of the victim's names.

She allegedly took more than $1 million from the other victim under false pretenses and used money from both to buy Arizona land.