Thirteen charged in $17M South Florida mortgage fraud scheme

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Thirteen people have been indicted in a $16.9 million mortgage fraud scheme centered around the Jade Residences at Brickell Bay, a luxury condominium on 1331 Brickell Bay Drive in Miami, and several single-family homes in Coral Gables. Most of the defendants are South Florida residents who obtained loans from Wells Fargo Bank by recruiting straw buyers to purchase properties at inflated prices. The straw buyers wound up defaulting on their loans of more than $1 million for each property, causing Wells Fargo to lose more than $9.7 million. The defendants face up to 30 years in prison. A real estate broker connected with the scam, Margaret Roberts, already pleaded guilty. TRD

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