Fryar’s next day in court to focus on financial restitution

Former NFL football star Irving Fryar just finished his first week in a New Jersey state prison after a bitter court battle led to a guilty verdict in a $1.2 million mortgage scam.

But his next big fight – his restitution – looms.

On Nov. 9 state Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert will hold a hearing in Mount Holly to determine how much Fryar must pay to the banks that he and mortgage broker William Barksdale victimized in late 2009 and early 2010 with the assistance of Fryar’s mother.

Feds dismiss charges against Brazilian in Miami bank-fraud case

Brazilian Arnaldo Prado flew into Miami for Easter weekend to visit with his mother on exclusive Fisher Island. Prado had made the trip many times before, but this one would be different.

More than a dozen FBI agents arrested him and his mother, Maura Lopes, on charges of participating in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme along with four others — including the mother’s ex-husband, who is Prado’s former stepfather.

 But after Prado was jailed without bond for six months at a federal detention center in Miami, the U.S. attorney’s office dismissed the charges this week against the 34-year-old sugar farmer — without explanation.


‘RHONJ': Judge rejects Joe, Teresa Giudice’s foreclosure challenge on Montville mansion

Joe and Teresa Giudice’s gilded Montville Township mansion is almost as much a character on “Real Housewives of New Jersey” as the reality TV stars themselves — but for how much longer?

Joe and his four daughters continue to live in the mansion while Teresa is in federal prison, and they taped their three-part Bravo special “Real Housewives of New Jersey: Teresa Checks In” there. But a Superior Court judge in Morris County has rejected the couple’s attempt to contest foreclosure on the over-the-top home and granted summary judgment in favor of the mortgage holders, Community Bank of Bergen County

Angela M. Blythe, attorney, 51, Oakland, Maryland, was convicted by a federal jury of conspiring to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and two counts of making a false statement to a bank.  Blythe was an attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and West Virginia, with an office in Oakland, Maryland.  She was a settlement attorney in real estate transactions.

According to evidence presented at the nine day trial, from 2000 to 2006, Blythe prepared deeds, mortgages and notes using false identities provided by her co-conspirator.  Blythe recorded those fraudulent documents in Garrett County, Maryland and Preston County, West Virginia, which concealed her co-conspirator’s ownership of the properties.  On at least seven occasions, Blythe also conducted property settlements in which her co-conspirator participated as buyer, seller and/or borrower using the false identities, which Blythe concealed from the lenders. Blythe failed to conduct the settlement transactions as described on the settlement statements and paid over the seller’s proceeds as her co-conspirator directed. Continue Reading…

Elizabeth Calderon, 39, Salinas, California, and Esther Sanchez, also known as Trinidad Carrillo, 54, Salinas, California, were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of filing false tax returns, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft, making false statements to federally insured institutions, and conspiracy,

Calderon and Sanchez are charged with conspiring to submit a loan application to Bank of America that contained false information and was supported by counterfeited documents.   According to the indictment, beginning on or about November 24, 2010, and continuing to the present, Calderon has been a professional tax return preparer and many of the charges against Calderon arise from this tax work Continue Reading…

A Georgia real estate investor pleaded guilty today for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Fulton and DeKalb counties, Georgia.

Morris Podber, a Georgia real estate investor, pleaded guilty for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Fulton and DeKalb counties, Georgia. Podber admitted that he conspired with others not to bid against one another at public real estate foreclosure auctions on selected properties. After the public foreclosure auctions, Podber admitted that he and his co-conspirators would divvy up the targeted properties in private side auctions, open only to the conspirators. Podber admitted to conspiring to use the mail to carry out their fraud, which included making and receiving payoffs and diverting money to co-conspirators that should have gone to the mortgage holders and others. Continue Reading…

Glenn Jasen, Spring Hill, Florida and Kathryn Jasen, Spring Hill, Florida, were found guilty of wire fraud by a federal jury.  They each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The sentencing hearings are scheduled for January 11, 2016. They were indicted on July 15, 2015

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, in 2009, the Jasens discovered a sinkhole beneath their home in Hernando County, Florida, and made a claim to Citizens Property Insurance. Citizens offered the Jasens either a check to compensate for their losses or mitigation of the sinkhole. Rather than having Citizens repair the developing sinkhole, the Jasens instead chose to receive a check for $153,745.37. But they kept the money and did not repair the sinkhole. The Jasens then made cosmetic repairs to the house and listed it for sale in 2013, but kept the sinkhole a secret from prospective buyers. In fact, on a required Florida real estate disclosure form, the Jasens denied any knowledge of a prior sinkhole or sinkhole claim. The home was ultimately sold to a family with five children. In March 2015, the family heard what sounded like a car crash in the earth beneath their house. They soon discovered a crack running across the floor of the house, and immediately had to evacuate.

This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.


The Cameron County, Texas District Attorney’s Office dismantled a county-wide real estate scheme that defrauded its victims out of more than $400,000 from 2013 through 2015.  Dubbed “Operation Surreal Estate”, the investigation began in July 2015 when victims contacted the District Attorney’s Office for help.

The several-month-long investigation uncovered a crime ring, led by Allan Ramirez Rodriguez, 27, Brownsville, Texas, who convinced real estate buyers to invest in and/or purchase properties. False deeds were provided to the investors for properties Rodriguez and his accomplices never owned. Organizers of the scheme even attended public real estate auctions to provide an appearance of legitimacy.  Rodriguez was charged with three counts of theft of property, three counts of engaging in organized criminal activity and securing execution of a document by deception.  Rodriguez has not been taken into custody.

In addition to Rodriguez, those involved in the organized criminal activity were: Continue Reading…

James Thomas, 44, of Villa Rica, Georgia, was arraigned on federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering arising from an alleged advance fee fraud scheme involving $1.7 million.  Thomas was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 15, 2015.  

According to the U.S. Attorney, the charges, and other information presented in court: Between 2008 and 2011, Thomas portrayed his firm, Trilateral Capital and Development LLC (“Trilateral”), as a reputable and well established private equity company that had successfully loaned millions of dollars for real estate development projects. Trilateral’s website and marketing materials contained fraudulent misrepresentations about the firm’s past real estate deals.  Thomas also misrepresented Trilateral’s finances and on least one occasion e-mailed a fraudulent bank statement purporting to show that Trilateral had over $1.6 million in one account.    Continue Reading…

Fraudster’s $4.4M debt to victim banks wiped out, then reinstated

Convicted mortgage fraudster Angel Puentes thought he’d hit the motherlode when a judge cut more than half off the federal prison sentence he was serving and then unexpectedly ruled that Puentes no longer had to pay more than $4.4 million in restitution to his victims.

But Puentes is back on the hook for the money after an appeals court ruled this week that the judge didn’t have the authority to wipe out his debt to the victims.