News and Press Releases

FOUR MIAMI DADE RESIDENTS, INCLUDING AN ATTORNEY AND THREE MORTGAGE BROKERS, CHARGED IN MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2010

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and Amos Rojas, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, announced the filing of a criminal Information against Jerry Velazquez, 38, of Miramar, Guillermo Moran, 38, of Miami Beach, Carolina Visbal, 32, of Miami Beach, and Rodolfo Landires, 37, of Miami. The one count Information charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. If convicted of this charge, the defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of up to twenty years’ imprisonment.

According to the allegations in the Information, the defendants sought to unlawfully enrich themselves by submitting to mortgage lenders mortgage loan applications and closing documents that contained false information. More specifically, defendants Moran, Landires, and Visbal, identified properties, usually condominium units, that were for sale in Miami-Dade County. They would then recruit straw buyers to purchase the condominium units at an inflated price. Thereafter, according to the Information, defendants Guillermo Moran, Rodolfo Landires, and Carolina Visbal submitted Uniform Residential Loan Applications (Form 1003); Request for Verification of Employment (Form 1005), Request for Verification of Deposit (Form 1006), and other documents containing false information to mortgage lenders in order to secure an inflated mortgage for the buyers/borrowers.

Defendant Jerry Velazquez, who at the time was a licensed attorney, participated in the scheme by handling the closings of the fraudulently procured loans. To execute the scheme, defendant Velazquez would, among other things, create two sets of closing documents, one which was given to the seller and reflected the true closing price, and another, which was sent to the lender and reflected the inflated sale price.

As a result of the false information in the mortgage applications and supporting documents, the lenders issued more than $6 million in mortgage loans.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bertha R. Mitrani.

An Information is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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