Nine people charged in complex miami mortgage fraud scheme
Posted on September 07, 2009 3:00 AM EST
In South Florida, nine people were charged in a Miami mortgage fraud scheme that bilked two banks out of more than $3 million dollars. The federal indictment alleges that six of the nine people reside in the Miami and South Florida area. The charges are being brought in federal court
in the Southern District of Florida. It is unclear at this early juncture in the criminal process which Miami criminal attorneys
are involved in the defense of the case. The announcement made by the U.S. Attorney's Office is part of the Miami mortgage fraud crackdown which began in 2007. The investigations are targeting all levels of individuals involved in mortgage fraud. Among those recently arrested in Miami mortgage fraud cases include real estate agents, mortgage brokers, attorneys, title agents and straw buyers.
Of the nine people indicted for mortgage fraud
in Miami federal court, five reside in Miami, one in Hialeah, one in Lehigh Acres and one in Fort Myers on the west coast of Florida. The federal indictment alleges that Michael Ramos, of Miami, Florida, was a licensed mortgage broker who owned and operated Go Expert Mortgage. The Miami mortgage fraud scheme involved two properties located on Miami Beach
. Among the other defendants involved in the case, include Paula Ramos, Michael's mother and a former Miami attorney named Ryan Dosen, who is no longer licensed to practice law in the State of Florida.
Go Expert allegedly provided fraudulent information on mortgage applications to Washington Mutual and Regions Bank. The most common incidents of Miami mortgage fraud involve the use of straw buyers who are recruited by unscrupulous mortgage brokers to apply for loans. The straw buyers provide their personal information including social security numbers to apply for the loan. The straw buyers receive payments in exchange for their participation in the fraud. The mortgage brokers fill out the mortgage applications using falsified income statements of the straw buyers and submit them to the lending institutions.
The fraudulent mortgage applications are used to obtain home loans of home equity lines of credit. Although the banks are able to recover some of the losses though the subsequent sale of the properties, they are seldom able to recover losses from the home equity lines of credit. Although, there is no federal mortgage fraud statute, the federal government charges people involved with Miami mortgage fraud with the common offenses of wire fraud and mail fraud
. No trial dates have been set in the most recent Miami mortgage fraud case.
Nine Indicted in Elaborate Mortgage Fraud Scheme,
South Florida Business Journal, September 3, 2009.