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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Title Agent and Co-Conspirator Plead Guilty in $10 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

A title agent and a co-conspirator pled guilty today to federal charges related to their participation in a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Benjamin G. Greenberg, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Defendants Michelle Cabrera, 48, of Miami Lakes, and Pedro Melian, 39, of Hialeah, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 (Case No. 16-60349-CR-DIMITROULEAS). At sentencing, each defendant faces up to thirty years? imprisonment.

Defendants Marco Laureti, 45, of Sunny Isles Beach, and Felix Mostelac, 44, of Miami Beach, were charged by Indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 and multiple counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 (Case No. 16-60340-CR-ZLOCH), for conduct allegedly related to the fraud scheme, and are awaiting trial.

to court documents, defendants Laureti, Mostelac, Cabrera and Melian were involved with a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme. Laureti was a former newspaper publisher and owner of Laureti Publishing Company, in addition to being a licensed real estate sales associate and mortgage broker. Mostelac was Laureti’s associate and also the owner of several companies. Cabrera owned Florida Elite Title & Escrow in Davie and served as the title agent for these transactions. Melian also owned several companies.

According to information presented in court and accompanying documents, the defendants engaged in a fraud scheme involving a condominium complex located at 45 Hendricks Isle in Fort Lauderdale. Defendants Laureti, Mostelac and Melian made false and fraudulent statements to a financial institution on loan applications and closing statements for the multi-million dollar condominiums. Once the loans were approved, defendant Cabrera, at Laureti’s direction, diverted the loan proceeds to fund the cash the borrower was expected to bring to the property’s closing, as well as diverting additional monies from the loan proceeds to various companies owned by Laureti and Mostelac. Furthermore, according to court documents, Laureti and Mostelac utilized the same scheme on the loan applications and closing statements to purchase their own multi-million dollar residential properties in Miami Beach, in addition to Laureti directing Cabrera to divert funds. The defendants’ scheme defrauded the financial institution of approximately $10 million.

Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.

An Indictment merely contains allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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 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 www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Topic: 
Mortgage Fraud
Updated March 14, 2017