Federal arrest warrants were issued for five people, including a Cape Coral, Florida, police officer in connection with an alleged investment property scheme in South Florida. Those named in the criminal complaint were:
Ronald D. Luczak
Lisa Luczak (wife of Ronald Luczak)
Nelson Alex Gonzalo, Cape Coral Police Officer
Patricia Martin, escrow officer
Sandra Mainardi, mortgage loan officer
According to the criminal complaint, in September 2005, shortly after his June 20, 2005 release from 48-months of federal incarceration in connection with his role in a stock fraud that he conducted while employed as a broker in New York and while on supervised release for that crime, Luczak began a scheme to purchase properties in Cape Coral, Florida through his companies, Cape Coral Equity and Development Group, Inc. and Cape Coral Equity and Development Group, LLC â€“ both established under his wife’s name, Lisa Luczak.
Luczak would find properties for sale, primarily in the Southwestern section of Cape Coral that were on canals, ‘for sale by owner’ and of a certain size and decent value. Luczak explained to Vincent Milotta, an investor with Luczak, that his plan was to find investors with a credit score over 650 and use the investor’s SSN to obtain financing in an amount greater than the home’s purchase price. The excess proceeds would be placed in an escrow account and used to make the mortgage payments. Luczak would promise investors that he would sell the property after six months and split the profits, minus expenses, with the investors. Investors were also promised payment on closing, usually $5,000.
Investors were primarily from South Florida or New Jersey. Many South Florida investors were located by Pinnacle Property Development, Inc., Delray Beach, a corporation registered to David P. Hoffman and Jeremie Leonard.
The complaint states that the investigation established the fraud scheme. The investors would enter into a mortgage obligation, using their good credit to obtain the mortgage. The buyers would receive an incentive payment of up to $5,000, with the promise of fifty percent of the profit from the sale of the home, which would be sold within six months. The mortgages would be obtained based upon an inflated real estate value. The buyers would obtain the loans, utilizing the credit check, but did not fill out applications for the loans, the loan packages contained false income amounts, allowing investors to qualify for higher amounts. The complaint states that none of the properties had been sold despite Luczak’s six month promise and three of the properties were foreclosed due to Luczak not making the loan payments.
Sandy Mainardi, acing through Monarch Mortgage in New Jersey, worked with Luczak in obtaining and processing the mortgage loans and received significant payments through Luczak’s accounts for her part in the scheme, according to the complaint. As part of the scheme to defraud the lenders, Luczak makes the mortgage payments until the mortgages are sold to another lender, thereby keeping him and his mortgage broker in good standing.
Luczak received approximately $5M during the year period of the scheme’s operation and obtained 42 mortgages totaling over $14M through New Century. Mortgages were also obtained through five other lenders.
Luczak’s “assignment fees” were received through title company escrow accounts, initially USA Land Title through Patricia Martin until February 2006 and then through Edison Title Services, 1323 Lafayette St, Suite D, Cape Coral Florida. The money laundering allegations also identify funds as being deposited from Select Title Guaranty Agency Group.
Gonzalo is alleged to have received $32,000 from Luczak’s accounts in addition to his share of $99,390.53 through Atlas Real Estate commissions on the fraudulent loans. According to the complaint, witnesses saw Gonzalo, who located properties for Luczak, wrote contracts for Cape Coral Equity and otherwise assisted Luczak; receive undisclosed amounts of money in cash