13 Charged in Florida Straw Buyer Scheme

Allison Tussey —  July 29, 2009 — 1 Comment

13 defendants have been charged in a 15-count Indictment for their participation in a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in approximately $4 million in fraudulent loans:

Bryan A. Guarch, 29, Richard Pi, 27, Edwin Garcia, 30, Carlos Martinez, 29, Wayne Bermudez, 29, Oscar Quintero, 28, Sunsy Garcia, 29, Ryan Barouh, 27, Jason Cuza, 30, Anthony Silverio, 26, all of Miami, Florida, Rafael Jaramillo, 32, Hialeah Gardens, Florida, Mario Estrada Mora, 25, Miami Beach, Florida, and Vanessa Negron, 27, Boiling Springs, South Carolina.

According to the Indictment, defendants Guarch and Pi organized the scheme and identified eight properties to be used to defraud mortgage lenders:

5495 SW 68th Avenue

575 NW 49th Street

230 NW 52nd Street

6029 SW 62nd Avenue

5920 SW 59th Street

228 NW 39th Street

6510 SW 63rd Avenue and

6841 SW 48th Terrace, all in Miami, Florida.

Guarch and Pi used defendants Edwin Garcia, Rafael Jaramillo, Carlos Martinez, and Wayne Bermudez, to recruit straw buyers to submit fraudulent loan applications to mortgage lenders. Among the straw buyers recruited in this way were co-conspirators Oscar Quintero, Mario Estrada Mora, Sunsy Garcia, and Vanessa Negron.

After submitting fraudulent loan applications to the lenders, Pi and Guarch paid-off loan officers, defendants Ryan Barouh and Jason Cuza, to facilitate the approval of the loans. Guarch and Pi caused the title company closer, defendant Anthony Silverio, to approve and submit to the lender a fraudulent HUD-1 Settlement Statement with an inflated purchase price. In an effort to conceal the fraud, Silverio provided a second HUD-1 Settlement Statement to the sellers reflecting the actual, much lower purchase price of the property. At closing, Guarch and Pi kept more than $1 million in loan proceeds, representing the difference between the inflated purchase price and the price actually paid to the seller for the property. After closing, Guarch and Pi used those loan proceeds to pay off their co-conspirators and to fund their lavish life styles. After each of the closings, the straw buyers defaulted on the loans, causing each of the properties to go into foreclosure and resulting in possible losses to the lenders of more than $2.6 million.

Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced the indictment. The Indictment includes charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and substantive wire fraud. Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal-State Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, with special commendation to the U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter A. Forand.

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Allison Tussey

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One response to 13 Charged in Florida Straw Buyer Scheme

  1. Three cheers for the feds! At least they know how to handle an investigation and bring home the bacon, unlike the local Miami Dade County Mortgage Fraud task force. Mr. Theobalds gang are quick to arrest, grab the headlines and then leave it to the SAO to sort through the mess that they’ve made. Blogs like yours are quick to reprint whatever kind of dreck they issue as press releases without even considering what your writing.

    Take a look at a case study of task force FAIL! Be proud of your task force.


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