Seven face charges over $50M mortgage fraud

Seven Floridians face allegations of running a $50 million mortgage fraud, according to an indictment filed in Miami.

The defendants are accused of running a fraud scheme tied to mountain-view property sales in North Carolina from 2003 to 2008, Daily Business Review reported. Lenders allegedly victimized by the scheme include Bank of America, Regions Bank and Wachovia Bank. Straw buyers were recruited to acquire properties in the Hampton Springs development in Cashiers, N.C.

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Hampton Springs lead developer Domenico Rabuffo of Miami and Mae Rabuffo of Fort Lauderdale allegedly orchestrated the fraud scheme. The straw buyers filed fraudulent loan applications to complete the property purchases. SunTrust Bank loan officer Victor Miguel Vidal of Miami is accused of ensuring the loan applications were approved.

The 15-count indictment charges the seven defendants with wire and bank fraud conspiracy and other bank fraud-related crimes. Each count has a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine and restitution. [Daily Business Review]Eric Kalis