Two former Miami real estate agents were sentenced today for their roles in a $2.4 million mortgage fraud scheme, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Jose Filgueiras, 43, was found guilty at trial on Sept. 9, 2013, of three counts of bank fraud and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch of the Southern District of Florida to serve 57 months in prison. Jose Filgueiras’s wife, Raquel Filgueiras, 39, was found guilty at trial on the same day of one count of bank fraud and was sentenced by Judge Zloch to serve 30 months in prison.
Three co-conspirators in the case were sentenced on Nov. 12, 2013. Jose Armando Alvarado, a former Miami area real estate agent and mortgage broker and Raquel Filgueiras’s father, was sentenced to serve 135 months in prison. Alberto Morejon, a former loan closer and title agent, was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison. Alvarado’s sister, Reyna Orts, a former mortgage broker and the mother of Morejon, was sentenced to serve 50 months in prison. Each of the co-defendants was convicted at trial of various counts of wire and bank fraud.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Alvarado, along with his co-conspirators, operated a mortgage fraud scheme by controlling and operating three real estate entities in the Miami area: South Florida Realty; American Mortgage Lending, a mortgage broker; and Royal Atlantic Title, a title insurance agency. From February 2004 through November 2009, Alvarado and his co-conspirators used their control over these three companies to falsify and misrepresent important facts provided to financial institutions in order to fraudulently secure loans totaling more than $2.4 million. The loans were often obtained through submitting falsified supporting documentation, such as false tax returns, W2 forms, bank statements and employment verifications.
Evidence at trial showed that Alvarado and his co-conspirators subsequently enriched themselves by diverting loan proceeds, collecting brokerage fees and inflating real estate commissions generated by the sales of the properties. Alvarado and his co-conspirators obtained control of multiple properties during the real estate market boom with the intent to flip and sell them for a profit or control them as rental properties. The defendants used their knowledge and experience in the real estate industry to conceal the scheme by executing quit-claim deeds and failing to record, and falsely recording, mortgage deeds and other documentation with the State of Florida.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Field Office and the Miami-Dade Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney N. Nathan Dimock of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section.