Broward Real Estate Broker Pleads Guilty in Three Cases to More Than $5 Million in Fraud
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Drew J. Breakspear, Commissioner, Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, and Scott Israel, Sheriff, Broward Sheriff’s Office, announce that Christopher Wayne White, 44, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pled guilty in three separate fraud cases before U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas. White is scheduled to be sentenced on January 21, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.
In Case No. 14-60216-CR-Dimitrouleas, White pled guilty to three counts of making material false statements to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(3). According to the Indictment and documents filed with the court, these statements were included on White’s April 16, 2014, application for naturalization submitted to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. White made the following material false statements in his naturalization application: (1) that he had never claimed to be a U.S. Citizen; (2) that he had never committed, assisted in committing or attempted to commit a crime or offense for which he was never arrested; and (3) that he had never failed to support his dependents. On these counts, White faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.
In Case No. 14-60282-CR-Martinez, White pled guilty to six counts of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. According to the Information and documents filed with the court, White was a licensed real estate broker and owner and operator of the Christopher White Group in Fort Lauderdale. White obtained real estate deposits totaling approximately $595,000 via wire transfers involving properties in Broward County from individuals and refused to return the escrow deposits. The Secretary of Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation ordered an emergency suspension of his real estate broker’s license. For each count, White faces a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison, five years’ supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count.
In Case No. 14-60283-CR-Moreno, White pled guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. According to the Information and documents filed with the court, White made numerous false statements to the mortgage lender in connection with the purchase a luxury home at 2708 Sea Island Drive in Fort Lauderdale. According to court records, White inflated his bank account balances, income, deposit and assets to fraudulently induce the mortgage lender to issue a mortgage loan in excess of $4.9 million dollars. The property was subsequently foreclosed by the lender resulting in substantial losses. On this count, White faces a maximum term of thirty years in prison, five years’ supervised release, and a fine of up to $1,000,000.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, ICE-HSI, Florida’s Office of Regulation, and the Broward Sheriff’s Office. Mr. Ferrer also thanked the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation for their assistance. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randy Katz and Thomas P. Lanigan.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.