The Real Deal Miami

Former Spanish newspaper publisher, others charged in $10M mortgage fraud scheme

US Attorney's office alleges they provided false information for condo loan applications and closings
January 06, 2017 03:45PM

45 Hendricks Isle in Fort Lauderdale. Inset: former publisher and broker Marco Laureti

The former publisher of a defunct Spanish-language newspaper in Miami and three other South Florida residents were charged in a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme. 

Marco Laureti, former publisher of “El Popular” and CEO/broker of Network Real Estate Advisors, Felix Mostelac, Michelle Cabrera and Pedro Melian were allegedly involved in the scheme tied to a Fort Lauderdale condo complex and other properties, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.

Laureti, a Sunny Isles Beach resident, was charged with making false statements to Washington Mutual and redirecting the funds to other companies, the South Florida Business Journal reported. Mostelac and Melian, of Miami Beach and Hialeah, also allegedly falsified information for condo loan applications and closings.

The U.S. Attorney’s office also said that Laureti and Mostelac allegedly used the same fraud process for home purchases in Miami Beach.

Miami-Dade has said it will crack down on real estate-related fraud. In September, police officers arrested a former accounting assistant accused of stealing nearly $150,000 from a condo association in Kendall.

More recently, a group of multimillion-dollar properties in South Florida was tied to a massive fraud ring in Mexico.  [SFBJ] – Katherine Kallergis