Former Miami Mortgage Broker and Real Estate Agent Sentenced for Role in Multi-Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Department of Justice November 15, 2013|
WASHINGTON—A former Florida-licensed real estate associate and mortgage broker was sentenced to serve 135 months in prison for his role in a $2.4 million mortgage fraud scheme.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida made the announcement.
Jose Armando Alvarado, 64, of Miami, was found guilty on September 9, 2013, of eight counts of wire fraud and six counts of bank fraud and was sentenced on November 14, 2013, by U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch of the Southern District of Florida. In addition to his prison term, Alvarado was ordered to serve three years of supervised release.
Two of Alvarado’s co-conspirators previously convicted at the same trial of various counts of wire and bank fraud were also sentenced on November 14, 2013. Alberto Morejon, 27, of Miami, a former loan closer and title agent, was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison. Alvarado’s sister, Reyna Orts, 58, of Miami, a former mortgage broker and the mother of Morejon, was sentenced to serve 50 months in prison.
According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Alvarado, along with his co-conspirators, operated a mortgage fraud scheme by controlling and operating three real estate entities in the Miami area: South Florida Realty; American Mortgage Lending, a mortgage broker; and Royal Atlantic Title, a title insurance agency. From February 2004 through November 2009, Alvarado and his co-conspirators used their control over these three companies to falsify and misrepresent important facts provided to financial institutions in order to fraudulently secure loans totaling more than $2.4 million. The loans were often obtained through submitting falsified supporting documentation, such as false tax returns, W2 forms, bank statements, and employment verifications.
Evidence at trial showed that Alvarado and his co-conspirators subsequently enriched themselves by diverting loan proceeds, collecting brokerage fees, and inflating real-estate commissions generated by the sales of the properties. Alvarado and his co-conspirators obtained control of multiple properties during the real estate market boom with the intent to flip and sell them for a profit or control them as rental properties. The defendants used their knowledge and experience in the real estate industry to conceal the scheme by executing quit-claim deeds and failing to record, and falsely recording, mortgage deeds and other documentation with the State of Florida.
The case was investigated by the FBI’s Miami Field Office and the Miami-Dade Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Nathan Dimock of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Schimkat of the Southern District of Florida.