9 Charged for Florida Mortgage Fraud Scam

Allison Tussey —  April 28, 2011 — 2 Comments

Carl Alexander, 45, Parkland, Florida; Carol Asbury, 59, an attorney, Lake Worth, Florida; Patrick Brinson, 34, Miami, Florida; David Lam, 42, a real estate broker, Parkland, Florida; David Miller, 43, Miramar, Florida; Godfrey Myles, 42, former professional football player, Miami, Florida; Michael Samuda, 38, an attorney, Weston, Florida; Thomas Thelusma, 40, a firefighter, Miami, Florida; and Victoria Wilson, 30, a mortgage broker, Hollywood, Florida, were indicted for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme relating to properties in the Versailles development in Wellington, Florida.

As alleged in all three indictments, the defendants used “straw buyers” to submit false documentation substantially inflating the purchase price of the properties to various mortgage lenders. As part of the conspiracy, double HUD-1 Settlement Statements were prepared. One set with the real price was provided to the seller and another set with the inflated price was provided to the lender. The difference between the real price and the inflated price was either made to appear as if it were a debt owed to business entities controlled by the defendants and their co-conspirators, or was made to appear as profits to the seller. The fraudulent loan proceeds were instead laundered through multiple accounts to conceal the source and distribution of the money and were ultimately used for the benefit of the defendants and their co-conspirators.

More specifically, in one of the indictments (11-CR-80033-KAM), defendants Asbury, Brinson, Lam and Myles were involved in a mortgage fraud scheme that generated more than $2.55 million in mortgage loans and approximately $488,000 in fraudulent loan proceeds involving two properties in the Versailles development in Wellington: 10638 Versailles Boulevard and 10515 Vignon Court.

Asbury and Lam are also charged with a mortgage fraud scheme which generated an additional $2 million in mortgage loans and $785,000 in fraudulent loan proceeds involving Versailles properties 10284 Medicis Place and 10420 St. Germain Court.

Defendants Asbury and Lam are charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, and defendants Brinson and Myles are charged with one count. Defendants Asbury, Brinson and Myles are each charged with two counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343, and defendant Lam is charged with four counts. Defendants Asbury and Lam are also each charged with one count of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1341. Defendants Asbury, Brinson, and Myles are each charged with one count of making false statements on loan applications, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001, and defendant Lam is charged in two counts. Each of the defendants are also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h). Defendants Asbury and Lam are charged in three counts of money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957, and defendants Brinson and Myles are charged in six counts.

In a second indictment (11-CR-80061-KAM), defendants Asbury, Alexander and Lam were charged for their involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme that generated more than $4.9 million in mortgage loans and approximately $1.8 million in fraudulent loan proceeds involving four Versailles properties: 10714 Versailles Boulevard, 3617 Royalle Terrace, 10293 Medicis Place, and 3554 Collonade Drive. Defendants Asbury, Alexander and Lam are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; nine counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; four counts of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1341; four counts of making false statements on loan applications, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h). In addition, defendants Alexander and Asbury are charged in thirteen counts of money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957, and defendant Lam is charged in six counts.

The third indictment (11-CR-80057-KAM) charges defendants Lam, Miller, Samuda, Thelusma, and Wilson in a mortgage fraud scheme that generated more than $3.79 million in mortgage loans and approximately $1 million in fraudulent loan proceeds involving three Versailles properties: 10475 Trianon Place, 10460 Trianon Place, and 3483 Collonade Drive. All of the defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; six counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343; and one count of criminal forfeiture in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 981.

If convicted, the defendants face a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison for the mail and wire fraud conspiracy, 20 years in prison for each of the mail and wire fraud counts, 20 years in prison for the money laundering conspiracies, 10 years in prison for each of the money laundering counts, and 5 years in prison for each of the false statement charges.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Kimberly A. Lappin, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), Miami Field Office, Jeff Atwater, Chief Financial Officer, Department of Financial Services, Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), Michael K. Fithen, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service, and the Palm Beach County Mortgage Fraud Task Force, announced the indictments.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, Department of Financial Services, FBI, FDLE, U.S. Secret Service, and the Palm Beach County Mortgage Fraud Task Force. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Evans, Ellen Cohen and Carolyn Bell.
An indictment is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Allison Tussey

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2 responses to 9 Charged for Florida Mortgage Fraud Scam

  1. I wonder if the FBI, Secret Service, the IRS and FDLE are aware that in 2006, Patrick Brinson and “others” were involved in another scheme where they were “strawbuyers/investors” that bought property in Dawsonville, Georgia; and the ringleader eventually got 15 years and the appraiser (because he cooperated with the FEDS got 1 year? Brinson and the “others” got away with this crime and were not prosecuted, despite the fact the transactions were conducted across state lines! One of the “investors” was and still is a Florida Realtor and Mortgage Broker and she got away with it. If the FBI had dug a little deeper into that 2006 case and prosecuted Brinson, I do not believe he would return and commmit another crime like this.

  2. This type of criminal conduct by attorneys and title companies is not an aberration, we find it fairly often in the mortgage transactions we examine. Matter of fact, found it in an examination this very morning.

    I’ve read the indictment and looks like the FEDS did their homework, they followed the money, and have had the opportunity to investigate it for almost 6 years–pretty easy case for them to prove. Ms. Asbury is looking at 20 years + in a federal penitentiary, this is what happens when people get greedy.

    I wonder which “straw buyer,” they hosed or co-conspirator it was that rolled over on her.

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