Ramon Cendana, 48, Orlando, Florida, has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme. The Court also ordered Cendana to pay in excess of $240,000 in restitution to his victims. Cendana had pleaded guilty on January 27, 2010.
According to court documents, Cendana owned and operated a title company, a mortgage company, and two investment companies. Through those companies, Cendana operated a Ponzi-type scheme soliciting investors (who were often refinancing their own homes to obtain investment proceeds), promising high rates of return on their investments, and then paying early investors with the investments of later investors. The proposed investments, however, never generated any revenue. When investor funds ran low, Cendana used the identification information of his investors to apply fraudulently for loans and lines of credit in the names of those investors. Further, near the end of his scheme, as both investor funds and the proceeds from the fraudulently-obtained loans and lines of credit ran low, Cendana used his mortgage and title companies to create fictitious mortgage closings, directing the customers who trusted him to refinance their homes to wire him funds to facilitate closings that never occurred.
The Court sentenced the defendant based upon over $1.7 million in fraud loss. This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Daniel C. Irick.
This case is part of the Middle District of Florida’s Mortgage Fraud Surge, a joint effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, the investigative agencies named above, and numerous other federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The Surge focused intensive investigative and prosecutorial resources on the mortgage fraud crisis that plagues middle Florida and has contributed to the current economic situation nationwide. The Surge accelerated mortgage fraud cases to bring perpetrators to justice quickly and provide maximum deterrence. It was the first step in the Middle District of Florida’s Mortgage Fraud Initiative, an ongoing effort to prosecute mortgage fraud of all types throughout the district. For more information on the Middle District of Florida’s mortgage fraud prosecutions, please contact Steve Cole, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office.