The Real Deal Miami

Mortgage fraudsters plead guilty to $10M scheme in South Florida

Pair admitted to creating fraudulent loan applications for condos and Miami Beach home
March 20, 2017 12:00PM

Exterior of 45 Hendricks Isle in Fort Lauderdale

Two mortgage fraudsters pleaded guilty to their involvement in a $10 million scheme using luxury South Florida condos.

Michelle Cabrera of Miami Lakes and Pedro Melian of Hialeah each pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, in this case Washington Mutual (now JP Morgan Chase), according to the Miami Herald.

Cabrera and Melian join Marco Laureti of Sunny Isles Beach and Felix Mostelac of Miami Beach in their scheme. Laureti, a former publisher of “El Popular” and CEO/broker of Network Real Estate Advisors, and Mostelac are awaiting trial on wire fraud-related charges indictments.

The properties include four units at 45 Hendricks Isle in Fort Lauderdale, a tower suite at Sunset Harbour South in Miami Beach, and the home at 205 East San Marino Drive in Miami Beach. Melian and Cabrera admitted to creating fraudulent loan applications for loans that were used as cash down payments, as well as used loan funds to wire into other companies. Loan and maintenance payments were not made on the home and condos.

Their bank of choice, Washington Mutual, was absorbed by JP Morgan Chase in the recession.

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. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis