News and Press Releases

Defendant Convicted in $39 Million Mortgage Fraud Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 25, 2013

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Steve Linick, Inspector General, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, and José A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced yesterday’s conviction of defendant Quelyory A. Rigal, a/k/a “Kelly”, of Homestead, FL, after a jury trial before U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Sentencing is scheduled for July 18, 2013 at 10:30 a.m.

Rigal was originally indicted with seven other defendants in Case No. 12-60088-CR-Williams, for fraudulently obtaining mortgages for the purchase of condominium units at Marina Oaks Condominiums in Fort Lauderdale, FL. The indictment charged defendant Rigal with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, as well as substantive counts of wire fraud and mail fraud. Defendant Rigal was found guilty on all counts charged in the indictment. Rigal faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on each count.

The other defendants were: Juan Carlos Sanchez, of New York, N.Y., Sandra P. Campo, of Colombia, Osbelia Lazardi, of Southwest Ranches, FL, Dayanara Montero, of Miramar, FL, Edward R. Mena, of Miami, FL, Celeste Mota, of Fort Myers, FL, and David Arboleda, of Doral, FL. With the exception of Rigal who proceeded to trial, all other defendants plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Defendant Sanchez was sentenced to 180 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Defendant Mena was sentenced to 54 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Defendant Arboleda was sentenced to 30 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Defendant Montero was sentenced to 22 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Defendant Mota was sentenced to five years of supervised release. Defendants Lazardi and Campo are awaiting sentencing. The sentencings are scheduled for May 5 and May 6, 2013, respectively, before Judge Zloch in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

According to the indictment, from January 2007 through November 2008, the defendants conspired to recruit individuals who would be willing to purchase condominium units at Marina Oaks Condominiums. These buyers were promised a “buyers’ incentive,” which payment was not disclosed to the lenders or reflected on any of the closing documents. The conspirators would then prepare materially false mortgage applications for the buyers on HUD Uniform Loan Application Form 1003. These forms contained false information as to material facts regarding the borrowers’ credit worthiness in order to qualify the borrowers for mortgages to purchase the Marina Oaks Condominiums. The conspirators would allegedly also create false documents to support the mortgage applications. Once the loans closed, the conspirators would divert portions of the mortgage proceeds for their personal use and benefit. The indictment alleges that the conspirators obtained approximately $39 million in fraudulent mortgage loans at Marina Oaks, resulting in $34 million in losses to the various lenders including Fannie Mae, which reported losses over $4.1 million to date, while Freddie Mac faces potential exposure of an additional $8.5 million.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General, as the lead investigative agency in the prosecution of Rigal, and IRS-CI and the Broward Sheriff’s Office for their participation in this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas P. Lanigan.

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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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