News and Press Releases

FORMER MIAMI-DADE REAL ESTATE AGENT PLEADS GUILTY IN MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 19, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Rhonda A. Diffenbach, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced that on April 14, 2011, Carlos Vadillo, of Miami-Dade County, entered a plea of guilty to a one count Information. Defendant Vadillo is scheduled for sentencing before U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga on June 23, 2011. He faces a total maximum statutory term of imprisonment of up to 30 years, followed by up to five years of supervised release.

Vadillo pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h). In addition, Vadillo agreed to make restitution in the amount determined by the court.

According to court records, between July 9, 2004 and August 7, 2007, Vadillo was a licensed real estate agent engaged in real estate transactions in Miami-Dade County. During that time, Vadillo and his co-conspirators were involved in a scheme to obtain fraudulent mortgage loans for the purchase of at least five residential properties in Miami Beach. To execute the scheme, Vadillo and his co-conspirators recruited and paid straw buyers, some of whom were family members, to pose as purchasers of the properties.

Court records also show that Vadillo and his co-conspirators prepared and caused to be prepared fraudulent mortgage loan applications on behalf of the straw buyers using their identity and credit information. Once the mortgage applications were approved, the lenders would wire transfer the loan proceeds to the accounts of the title and/or settlement agents in the State of Florida. Afterwards, Vadillo and his co-conspirators would arrange for the fraudulent mortgage loan proceeds to be disbursed to one of Vadillo’s bank accounts. Eventually, Vadillo and his co-conspirators defaulted on the loan payments, causing the properties to go into foreclosure. Vadillo acknowledged that the fraud loss resulting from his actions is more than $2.5 million but less than $7 million.

U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service for their work investigating this case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina Perez Soto.

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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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