Archives For Florida

Enrique Hernandez, 34, Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud in connection with a scheme to inflate purchase prices and share kickbacks with his conspirators.The properties purchased in the scheme were subsequently allowed to fall into foreclosure.

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Fraudulent investment property schemes are on the rise in the form of straw borrowers, abnormally high appraisals, evasion of purchase guidelines and large numbers of purchased properties. Real estate investment scams typically spread by word-of-mouth and require people to invest large sums of money in investment properties. These types of scam promise a large increase in the value of the property resulting high returns or unusually high interest on contributed funds.

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Mark Gardner, 28, Osteen, Florida, and Tammie Lynn Cline, 32, Leominster, Massachusetts, have been charged with one count of conspiracy, five counts of wire fraud, and four counts of money laundering for their alleged role in convincing time share owners to pay a fee in exchange for a prospective buyer.

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James Sotolongo, Christopher Mencis, and Stephanie Musselwhite were sentenced for their roles in a complex mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded lenders out of more $35 million.

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James Fidel Sotolongo, 49, Port Orange, Florida, Stephanie Musselwhite, 52, Daytona Beach, Florida, and Christopher Mencis, 53, Longwood, Florida, were sentenced by United States District Court Judge John A. Jarvey for their respective roles in a mortgage fraud scheme wherein they ripped off $9.3M from JP Morgan Chase, $1.6M from Wells Fargo and $1.5M from Bank of America.

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Stephen Mayer, 51, Miami, Florida, was convicted by a federal jury for his role as the ringleader of an illegal flipping conspiracy with estimate losses to lenders in excess of $3 million.

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Karl Oreste, 56, Miramar, Florida, was sentenced to 100 months imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $8,215,197.28 in restitution for his recruitment of straw buyers and other conduct in an $8,000,000 mortgage fraud scheme.

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Jasper Buck, 59, formerly of Westminster, Maryland, and Lake Mary, Florida, has been indicted and charged with mail fraud arising from an investment fraud scheme wherein he allegedly misrepresented to investors that their funds would be used for hard money lending.

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Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor, 40, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, resident was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra to 36 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $350,470.00 in restitution, for his role in managing a loan modification scheme.

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Christopher Wayne White, 44, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, a real estate broker was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas to 41 months in prison, three years supervised release and ordered to pay $4,029,892, in restitution to victims in three separate fraud cases.

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