Huge Mortgage Fraud Ringleader Sentenced to Jail

Miami Judge Sentences Mortgage Fraud Ringleader to Prison

mortgage fraud ringleaderA long-running mortgage fraud scheme conned several Miami-area banks out of close to $50 million, and now the mortgage fraud ringleader has finally been sentenced to prison.

On Tuesday, September 30th, US District Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced Domenico Rabuffo, 78, to 27 years in prison as the mortgage fraud ringleader fraud scam. Three other people convicted in Rabuffo’s trial will be sentenced on October 30th.

For Rabuffo, this is life in prison. After being indicted in January, and jailed without bail for his trial, Rabuffo was hospitalized several times and had surgery on his carotid artery to restore the flow of blood to his brain. He also suffers diabetes, and has a degenerative spinal disc problem that has left him wheelchair-bound.

However, Rabuffo has been unrepentant about his mortgage fraud scheme. Prosecutors fought to keep him behind bars, without bail, after he said plainly that he would continue the mortgage fraud scam as long as he had access to a telephone, a fax machine, and outside help.

The indictment and evidence from the trial detail Rabuffo’s mortgage fraud scam. From 2003 to 2008, Rabuffo and his co-defendants conspired to perpetrate a series of mortgage fraud scams against large FDIC-insured banks such as Bank of America, Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank, and Wachovia Bank. Rabuffo and his ex-wife created shell companies to purchase and control residential property development known as the Hampton Springs, near Cashiers, North Carolina. Then, Rabuffo and his co-defendants recruited “straw borrowers” to request mortgages to purchase housing in the development. The group created false loan applications and ended up with $49.6 million in fraudulent mortgage money.

Several of the straw borrowers testified during the mortgage fraud trial.

The land Rabuffo purchased was once a pristine mountain top. The group began building some houses on the property to create the illusion of development, but never finished them. There is no water or sewer service on the lots, and building officials say they will have to tear down the existing buildings.

Mortgage Fraud Charges in South Carolina

Mortgage fraud is the misrepresentation of information or the omission of information on a mortgage application in order to obtain a loan or obtain a higher loan offered by the lender had they known the truth.

While “flipping” properties is legal, it becomes illegal when a nominee or straw buyer buys the property.  A nominee/straw buyer is one who buys the property for another person because the other person already has loans out on other property. If the nominee/straw buyer defaults on the mortgage, which was the case for many with the downturn of the economy, the investor may face charges of fraud for using deception to obtain the loan.

Mortgage fraud is a serious offense with stiff penalties. If convicted of mortgage fraud, you could face upwards to 30 years in prison and harsh penalties.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Mortgage Fraud Charges

At Strom Law Firm, LLC, our federal criminal defense attorneys provide comprehensive legal services designed to protect your rights and your interests. Our lawyers are licensed in South Carolina, New York, and Georgia. Even if you feel your involvement in the mortgage fraud scheme was minor, you may still face charges. We understand what is at stake, which is why we will fight aggressively for your name and your reputation. Call the South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Strom Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. 803.252.4800.

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