Indicted Russian real estate fraudsters dealt heavily in South Florida

April 09, 2012 03:00PM

A Russian couple indicted on charges of fraud relating to real estate deals previously thought to be limited to the Gulf Coast, also dealt extensively in South Florida, new documents dug up by the Miami Herald show.

For example, Natalia and Victor Wolf drew up fake documents to claim ownership and take out $2.3 million worth of loans on a 42-room Hollywood motel. The pair did the same with a 12-unit apartment house down the block, the Herald said. In Sunny Isles Beach, they sold a single condominium unit back and forth between shell companies five times to increase the value by more than $1 million. In Hallandale Beach they obtained a quarter-million dollar mortgage on a house they didn’t own.

The business was conducted through dozens of shell companies.

But the Wolfs were far from expert swindlers. The new documents suggest they were part of a a much larger organization that was behind the crimes, the Herald said. [Miami Herald via Sun Sentinel]