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Miami fire official charged in $11M mortgage fraud scheme

February 23, 2011 04:54PM

Miami assistant fire chief Veldora Arthur has been charged along with four others in connection with an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme in Aventura’s Hidden Bay condominium development. Arthur, 45, lives in Weston and is the top-ranking female firefighter in the city, earning around $184,000 annually. According to prosecutors, she acted as a straw buyer in the 2006 scam — allowing her name and credit history to be used for fraudulent mortgage applications for two million-dollar units at the complex, which were purchased with no money down, in exchange for an unknown bribe. Those properties, which Arthur never lived in, were ultimately foreclosed upon. Arthur’s attorney said she was merely a victim in the scam who was introduced to her alleged co-conspirators by a friend and had only intended to flip the properties for a profit. Her attorney noted that Arthur herself was the person who initially notified authorities about the purchases after noticing that her paperwork said she was making $123,000 per month — not per year. [Miami Herald]