A former newspaper publisher, mortgage broker, title agent and other individuals are charged federally for their participation in a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Marco Laureti, 45, of Sunny Isles Beach, and Felix Mostelac, 44, of Miami Beach, are charged by Indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 and multiple counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343 (Case No. 16-60340-CR-ZLOCH). Michelle Cabrera, 48, of Miami Lakes, and Pedro Melian, 39, of Hialeah, are charged by criminal Information with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution (Case No. 16-60354-CR-DIMITROULEAS), If convicted, each defendant faces up to thirty years? imprisonment on each charged count.
According to court documents, defendants Laureti, Mostelac, Cabrera and Melian were involved with a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme. Laureti was a former newspaper publisher and owner of Laureti Publishing Company, in addition to being a licensed real estate sales associate and mortgage broker. Mostelac was Laureti’s associate and also the owner of several companies. Cabrera owned Florida Elite Title & Escrow in Davie and served as the title agent for these transactions. Melian also owned several companies.
According to court documents, the defendants engaged in a fraud scheme involving a condominium complex located at 45 Hendricks Isle in Fort Lauderdale. Defendants Laureti, Mostelac and Melian made false and fraudulent statements to a financial institution on loan applications and closing statements for the multi-million dollar condominiums. Once the loans were approved, defendant Cabrera, at Laureti’s direction, diverted the loan proceeds to fund the cash the borrower was expected to bring to the property’s closing, as well as diverting additional monies from the loan proceeds to various companies owned by Laureti and Mostelac. Furthermore, according to court documents, Laureti and Mostelac utilized the same scheme on the loan applications and closing statements to purchase their own multi-million dollar residential properties in Miami Beach, in addition to Laureti directing Cabrera to divert funds. The defendants’ scheme defrauded the financial institution of approximately $10 million.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Katz.
An Indictment and a criminal Information merely contain allegations and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.