A two week arrest operation of individuals involved in several mortgage fraud schemes concluded with the capture of the following individuals:
Kleimer Cruz, 28, Nancy L. Ortega, 38, Pedro Orestes Garcia, 45, Katherine Q. Mojica, 30, Jesus M. Montero, 31, Heriberto E. Jimenez, 49, Kelia Michelle Marrero, 34, Nereyda Sosa aka Nereida Sosa, 49, Annelise Avila, 39, Wendy Sanchez, 35, Eric Humberto Morera, 42, Luis Alberto Doval, 40, Jose Carlos Marrero, 38, Osmany Pereira Garcia, 54, Carmen Rojas Poerschke, 55, Flavia C. Gil, 45, Jose Luis Garcia, 44, Fernando Boix-Lopez, 47, Michelle Mediavilla Camacho aka Michelle Mediavilla Minikus, 39, Rosemary J. Gomez, 43, Jorge Luis Villanueva, 45, and Lazaro Rodriguez, 42.
Additionally, Kimberly Irene Mendez, 38 and Gil Rodriguez, 56, have active warrants for their arrest due to their participation in this fraud.
As part of Mayor Carlos Alvarez’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, the Miami-Dade Police Department conducted an extensive two year investigation into an organized criminal enterprise responsible for the loss of approximately $35 million dollars in Mortgage Fraud. The enterprise entailed criminal activity to include, but not limited to, racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, grand theft, mortgage fraud and money laundering.
The investigation into this criminal enterprise revealed that the offenders utilized a Straw Buyer and made false misrepresentations to lenders in order to secure mortgage loans with the intent of dividing and diverting portions of the illicit proceeds.
The co-conspirators were involved in several schemes one of which is to pay the owner’s asking price for the home, and then inflate the contract purchase price using two sales contracts and HUD 1 Settlement Statements. This is done by conducting simultaneous closings without the lenders’ knowledge. This scheme allows the co-conspirators to get cash back at closing. However, cash back at closing is diverted to an undisclosed third party in order to receive the illicit funds.
Another scheme utilized by the offender was to get the sellers to agree to a price that is higher than their original asking price. On a few occasions the straw buyer’s realtor would approach the seller’s and/or their realtor with a sales contract much higher than that of the original asking price. The difference was listed in the contract as a credit to remodel and/or repair the property. This was done as a disguise to help funnel the illicit gains without the lender’s knowledge as no remodeling or repairs were done to the property. The co-conspirators were also creating fictitious payoff letters stipulating that the sellers had an additional lien on the property or would also disguise the excess monies as a payoff to a second mortgage held by the seller.
The Mayor Carlos Alvarez Mortgage Fraud Task Force is made up of law enforcement officials, prosecutors, business leaders, elected officials and other public servants. Through their vision and direction the Task Force aims to continue to reduce and prevent mortgage fraud through law enforcement and prosecution, legislation and public education.
Mayor ALvarez also thanked the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, the United States Secret Service, Watauga County Police Department in North Carolina, Glades County Sheriff’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their assistance with this investigation.