News and Press Releases

ASSISTANT CITY OF MIAMI FIRE CHIEF SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR HER ROLE IN MORTGAGE-FRAUD SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, announce the sentencing of defendant Veldora Arthur. At today’s hearing, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz sentenced Arthur to 57 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release.

A jury convicted Arthur after trial on charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and substantive mail-fraud. Arthur’s co-defendants, Neil Fagan and Pamela Johnson, who were also convicted at trial, were previously sentenced for their role in the scheme to 90 months and 57 months in prison, respectively.

According to evidence presented during the trial, Arthur was part of a mortgage fraud scheme that targeted mainly the Hidden Bay Condominium Complex (“Hidden Bay”) in Aventura, Florida. The defendant acted as straw purchaser and submitted loan applications and supporting documents containing false information to qualify to purchase two units in Hidden Bay in February and March 2006. Among the false documents submitted by Arthur were letters faxed during working hours from the City of Miami Fire Department, where the defendant worked. For her participation in the scheme, defendant Arthur received approximately $317,000 in one month. The defendants conduct in the scheme resulted in approximately $2.5 million in losses to various lenders.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Armando Rosquete and Sean McLaughlin.

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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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