Federal prosecutors charged eight Miami-Dade residents in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme that spanned November 2004 to September 2009 at Jade, a luxury downtown Miami condominium.
Charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to commit mail fraud were Andres “Andy’’ Mendez Sr., 47, and Andres “Andy’’ Mendez Jr., 26, both of Miami-Dade; Lilia Casal-Diaz, 42, a Coral Gables attorney; Ayadie Carmen Londono, 59, a former real estate broker from Miami; Josephine Santana, 57, a mortgage broker of Miami-Dade; Jose Rafael Martinez, 36, of Miami-Dade; and Basilio Gomez, 52, of Miami-Dade. The indictment seeks forfeiture of ill-gotten gains, including $5.7 million.
Charged separately by a criminal information was Raquel de Jesus Martinez, 49, of Miami. Martinez, a title agent, faces charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and money laundering for her alleged role in creating false paperwork in return for kickbacks.
Prosecutors said the defendants made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Miami Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
According to court papers, the defendants used straw buyers to buy units at the 1331 Brickell Bay Drive condo, submitting false information to lenders to get loans in excess of the actual sales price on the units. Two sets of loan papers were used: One provided to the sellers that showed the actual sales price and another provided to lenders showing inflated sales prices, the prosecution alleges.
Another defendant, Jose Arnaldo Rosario, 55, of Miami-Dade was sentenced Aug. 5, 2011 to 46 months in prison for his role in the alleged scheme. Rosario pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud. Prosecutors said he provided false information to lending institution and got kickbacks in the purchase of two apartment units.