Title Agent Sentenced for Falsifying Settlement Statements

Allison Tussey —  January 23, 2013 — Leave a comment

Raquel DeJesus Martinez, Miami-Dade County, Arizona, who previously worked as a title agent, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks to 24 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, in connection with a scheme to commit mortgage fraud at The Jade apartment complex, Brickell Bay Drive, Miami, Florida. In addition, she was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,936,714.32. DeJesus Martinez is the eighth defendant to be sentenced in connection with the scheme.

According to statements in open court and court documents, the defendants engaged in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme using straw buyers to purchase residential properties at The Jade. As part of the scheme, the defendants submitted mortgage loan applications and supporting documents containing false information to lending institutions. The lending institutions relied on these documents to make mortgage loans to the straw buyers to purchase the residential properties.

The defendants then prepared and submitted to the lenders, false HUD-1 statements. The defendants created a second version of the HUD-1 statements, listing the actual sales prices, which were provided to the seller. To conceal and perpetuate the fraud, the defendants made some payments to the condominium association and made some mortgage payments to the lenders to prevent foreclosure and continue to receive rental income for the units. The defendants thereafter diverted the mortgage fraud proceeds into shell companies for their personal use.

Previously, defendants Lilia Casal-Diaz, a real estate attorney, Andres Mendez, Sr. and his son, Andy Mendez, both real estate brokers, Josephine Santana, a mortgage broker, Jose Arnaldo Rosario, Jose Rafael Martinez, and Basilio Gomez, all of Miami-Dade County, Florida, were convicted for their roles in the mortgage fraud scheme.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office, announced the sentence.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CID and the U.S. Secret Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerrob Duffy.

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Allison Tussey

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