Michele Carducci, 37, Tampa, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and making false statements to a federal agency.
She faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to the criminal Information, in 2001, Carducci moved from Ohio to Florida and, in 2002, became a Florida-licensed mortgage broker. Subsequently, she entered into a conspiracy with a Florida-licensed real estate agent and a primarily Pinellas County-based developer. The real estate agent was recruiting buyers to purchase houses that were being flipped by the developer, through a series of companies.
Buyers were falsely told that these deals would require no money from them. Instead, to hide the fact that the seller (the developer) was really providing closing funds (down payments) to otherwise unqualified buyers, Carducci, among other things, inflated the buyers’ assets on their loan-related documents.
Carducci’s role in the conspiracy is estimated to have caused losses between $400,000 and $1,000,000, for transactions that she handled in 2005 and 2006.
Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced the guilty plea.
This case was investigated by Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.