News and Press Releases

Former Mortgage Title Agent Sentenced in Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme at Jade Apartment Complex in Miami

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID), and Paula Reid, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office, announce that Raquel DeJesus Martinez of Miami-Dade County, who previously worked as a title agent, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks to 24 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, in connection with a scheme to commit mortgage fraud at The Jade apartment complex on Brickell Bay Drive in Miami. In addition, she was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,936,714.32. DeJesus Martinez is the eighth defendant to be sentenced in connection with the scheme.

According to statements in open court and court documents, the defendants engaged in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme using straw buyers to purchase residential properties at The Jade. As part of the scheme, the defendants submitted mortgage loan applications and supporting documents containing false information to lending institutions. The lending institutions relied on these documents to make mortgage loans to the straw buyers to purchase the residential properties. The defendants then prepared and submitted to the lenders, false HUD-1 statements. The defendants created a second version of the HUD-1 statements, listing the actual sales prices, which were provided to the seller. To conceal and perpetuate the fraud, the defendants made some payments to the condominium association and made some mortgage payments to the lenders to prevent foreclosure and continue to receive rental income for the units. The defendants thereafter diverted the mortgage fraud proceeds into shell companies for their personal use.

Previously, defendants Lilia Casal-Diaz, a real estate attorney, Andres Mendez, Sr. and his son, Andy Mendez, both real estate brokers, Josephine Santana, a mortgage broker, Jose Arnaldo Rosario, Jose Rafael Martinez, and Basilio Gomez, all of Miami-Dade County, were convicted for their roles in the mortgage fraud scheme.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of IRS-CID and the U.S. Secret Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerrob Duffy.

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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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