Attorney General Bondi’s Office and Miami-Dade Police Department Stop South Florida Mortgage Fraud Scheme Totaling Nearly $5 Million
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi and the Miami-Dade Police Department today charged four people for their alleged involvement in a Florida mortgage fraud scheme. The individuals allegedly defrauded lenders by using straw buyers, filing false liens with county officials, laundering money, and inflating prices quoted to lenders.
“By working with the Miami-Dade Police Department, we have stopped this mortgage fraud scheme,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “We will continue our efforts to stop mortgage fraud and hold criminals accountable.”
Chief Juan Santana of the Miami-Dade Police Department stated “The Miami-Dade Police Department’s Real Estate Fraud Section continues its vigilance and long-term commitment against those individuals who sought to compromise the integrity of the banking and mortgage industry.”
Below is the list of defendants and their charges. Each of the counts charged is a first degree felony and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
- Jose-Ricardo Jesus Armas, 35, Miami; RICO, organized fraud, three counts of grand theft
- Jesus Alberto Gregorio, 52; Hialeah, grand theft
- Roberto Ramos, Miami, 73; grand theft first degree, organized fraud
- Remberto Lago, 41, Hialeah, 41; grand theft
This scheme operated with straw buyers who used their names and credit to purchase numerous properties. Once the loan had been secured and records reflected a price well over the actual price paid to the seller, a variety of financial exchanges would take place to make the purchase appear legitimate. The laundered money would then go back to the closing agent’s escrow account and be characterized in the records as the cash brought to the closing by the straw buyer.