April 8, 2015

Six Individuals Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Six individuals, from Miami and Brazil, were indicted for participating in a mortgage fraud conspiracy.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

Raul Enrique Quintana, 48, of Miami, Maura Barbosa Lopes, a/k/a “Maura Quintana,” 55, of Brazil,Arnaldo Almeida Prado Neto, 33, of Brazil, Evelyn Lara, 47, of Miami, Luis Enrique Sosa, 43, of Miami, and Juan Osiel Gonzalez, 54, of Miami, were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution, and various counts of bank fraud offenses, punishable by up to thirty years in prison.

The indictment alleges that from 2004 to 2007, the defendants conspired to perpetrate a complex mortgage fraud scheme against various FDIC-insured lenders, including Chevy Chase Bank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, and Washington Mutual Bank.

The indictment alleges that the defendants Raul Enrique Quintana, Maura Barbosa Lopes, and Arnaldo Almeida Prado Neto purchased and refinanced residential properties in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach Counties, including a number of properties on Fisher Island, using mortgage loans that they obtained through false and fraudulent misrepresentations on their loan applications and related documents.

According to the indictment, the fraudulent loan applications were originated by Raul Enrique Quintana’s mortgage brokerage company, Brickell Financial Corporation (“BFC”). Title Closing Partners, LLC (“TTP”), a company controlled by Raul Enrique Quintana, Maura Barbosa Lopes, and Evelyn Lara, served as the closing agent for the loans.

According to the indictment, the defendants’ misrepresentations to the banks included fictitious verifications of false and fraudulent employment and bank deposit information set forth on loan applications. The indictment alleges that Maura Barbosa Lopes and Arnaldo Almeida Prado Neto, as borrowers, falsely and fraudulently declared that they were employed by defendant Luis Sosa’s company, CWW, and were earning substantial salaries. It is further alleged that Raul Quintana and Luis Sosa agreed that when lenders contacted CWW the employees would provide fraudulent verifications of Barbosa Lopes and Prado Neto’s employment with the company.

The indictment also alleges that Raul Quintana, Maura Barbosa Lopes, and Arnaldo Almeida Prado Neto submitted loan applications that fraudulently listed fictitious or inflated bank account balances as assets, and that in some instances they provided lenders with falsified bank account statements in support of those claims. It is alleged that defendant Juan Gonzalez, who was an employee at Wachovia Bank, provided lenders with false and fraudulent verifications of deposit for fictitious and inflated Wachovia Bank accounts that were listed as assets by Raul Quintana and Maura Quintana on their loan applications.

The indictment alleges that Evelyn Lara prepared and signed HUD-1 Settlement Statements for loans to Raul Quintana, Maura Barbosa Lopes, and Arnaldo Almeida Prado Neto, which falsely and fraudulently stated that they had paid earnest money deposits and cash due at the closing of their loans.

On April 6, 2015, Raul Quintana, Maura Barbosa Lopes, Arnaldo Almeida Prado Neto, Luis Sosa, and Juan Gonzalez appeared for their initial hearing before United States Magistrate Judge Chris M. McAliley. Luis Sosa and Juan Gonzalez were granted bond. Raul Quintana, Maura Barbosa Lopes, and Arnaldo Almeida Prado Neto remain in custody pending their pretrial detention hearings, which are currently set for April 9, 2015, before Magistrate Judge McAliley in Miami.

Mr. Ferrer commends the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dwayne E. Williams.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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.