Melanie Ferreira, 62, Lagrangeville, New York, was sentenced to 51 months in prison following her conviction for engaging in a series of frauds, which included cheating the Internal Revenue Service out of nearly half a million dollars, and perpetrating a bank fraud scheme wherein she caused a forged cashier’s check to pay off her mortgage.

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Lawrence Foster, 49, Miami Beach, Florida, the President of Paradise is Mine, was found guilty by a federal jury of conspiring to commit wire fraud and seven counts of wire fraud, and Johana Leon, 38, Miami Beach, a corporate officer of Paradise is Mine, was found guilty of three counts of structuring currency transactions, for their roles in soliciting funds from investors promising that Paradise is Mine owned land and would use investor funds to develop the island of Rum Cay in the Bahamas, but instead used the money for personal use.

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Robert Walker, 43, North Royalton, Ohio, was indicted for operating a loan-modification scheme in which he allegedly defrauded more than 90 homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments by convincing them to pay him an upfront fee of at least $1,995 then did little or not work to obtain the modification.

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Emiel A. Kandi, 37, University Place, Washington, a former hard money lender, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and $831,607 in restitution for structuring some hard money loans to allow him to seize control of a home if the borrower missed a single payment, in others he submitted false information to lenders regarding the borrowers’ employment, salary, and intention to live in the home.

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Benjamin Bland, 39, Glen Allen, Virginia; Michael Westbrook, 36; and Anthony Simpson, 43, both of Baltimore, on charges arising from a scheme to allow individuals with poor credit histories and criminal records to obtain loans and real property using misappropriated social security numbers and fraudulently established credit histories.

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Patrick J. Belzner, a/k/a Patrick McCloskey, 45, Selbyville, Delaware, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz to 15 years in prison followed, by three years of supervised release, on charges of wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud and tax evasion for his role in a scheme to rip off investors by promising to secure large loans in exchange for substantial sums deposited in an escrow bank account.

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Todd A. Brunner, 57, and Shawn A. Brunner, 24, both of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, are the subjects of a sixteen count indictment charging them with bank fraud, making false declarations and oaths, and concealing assets, including real estate in bankruptcy.

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Dinesh Valjeebhai Shah, 65, was sentenced to seven years in state prison for conspiring with three other family members to commit over $16 million in real estate fraud by forging documents and purchasing homes using straw buyers.

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Robert J. Lunn, 64, Chicago, Illinois, an investment advisor, was convicted of federal bank fraud charges for engaging in a scheme to defraud Leaders Bank and two of his clients of more than $3.2 million and ultimately causing the bank to lose more than $2.7 million.

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Bell Holdings, Inc., and Bimija Limited Partnership, are the subjects of Administrative Complaints issued by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation charging each company with unlicensed mortgage lending activity.

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