News and Press Releases

Orange County Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Mail Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2012

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announce that defendant Gergawattie “Kamla” Seecharan, 49, of Orange County, pled guilty on May 10, 2012, for her participation in a mortgage fraud scheme. More specifically, Seecharan pled guilty to conspiracy involving more than $20 million of mortgage loan funds, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1341, 1343 and 1349.

Sentencing has been scheduled for August 20, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez. At sentencing, Seecharan faces a possible maximum statutory sentence of up to 30 years in prison.

According to statements in open court and publicly filed documents in the case, on December 9, 2010, defendant Seecharan and three others were indicted on bank fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and related mortgage fraud charges. According to the charges, Seecharan, along with her co-defendants, conspired to solicit mainly Guyanese residents of Florida and other States to act as straw buyers on fraudulent applications for mortgage loans in the purchase of more than 150 homes in Indian River County, Miami-Dade County, and elsewhere. Approximately 80 individuals served as straw buyers of properties in Vero Lake Estates (VLE), in Indian River County, and other developments. This scheme resulted in the issuance of more than $50 million in fraudulent mortgage loans. The proceeds were then used to buy more properties, sustain the deception and service preexisting mortgage loans in the scheme, and pay kickbacks to the straw buyers.

In addition, Seecharan and codefendant Linda Rovetto diverted more than $3.5 million in mortgage loans to Raviworld New Homes, Inc., a company managed by Seecharan’s husband and codefendant Bhardwaaj Seecharan. Bhardwaaj Seecharan pled guilty on April 2, 2012 to bank fraud conspiracy charges. Linda Rovetto pled guilty on April 23, 2012, to bank fraud conspiracy charges. Sentencing for both Bhardwaaj Seecharan and Linda Rovetto is also scheduled before Judge Martinez on August 20, 2012.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, Bureau of Finance, West Palm Beach Regional Office for their work on this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.

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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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