Seven Florida residents have been indicted on charges of bank fraud and wire fraud for their alleged involvement in a ‘complex’ mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the approval of approximately $49.6 million in fraudulent loans and millions in losses to the lenders, including Bank of America, Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank and Wachovia Bank.
As per a U.S. Department of Justice press release, Domenico ‘Dom’ Rabuffo, 77, of Miami; Mae Rabuffo, 74, of Fort Lauderdale; Diane M. Hayduk, 64, of Miami; Raymond E. Olivier, 52, of Land O' Lakes, Curtis Allen Davis, 51, of Tampa; Victor Miguel Vidal, 48, of Miami; and Lazaro Jesus Perez, 43, of Miami Lakes conspired to perpetrate a complex scheme against various Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-insured lenders from 2003 to 2008.
Specifically, Domenico Rabuffo and Mae Rabuffo are accused of using shell companies to acquire ownership and control of a purported residential property development known as Hampton Springs, located in Cashiers, N.C.
According to the indictment, the Rabuffos, along with Hayduk, Olivier and Davis, recruited numerous straw buyers to purchase undeveloped lots in the Hampton Springs development. The straw buyers financed the purchase of the building lots using mortgage loans and further obtained construction loans for the same properties. The defendants caused the straw buyers to submit false and fraudulent loan applications and related documents to the lenders to ensure that the straw buyers qualified for the loans, the release states.
Vidal, who served as a loan officer at SunTrust Mortgage, is accused of shepherding the fraudulent loan applications of the straw buyers through the approval process, including fraudulent applications for $33 million in construction loans.
Perez is accused of furnishing fictitious and fraudulent accountant's letters to Vidal in support of various fraudulent mortgage loan applications submitted to SunTrust Mortgage.
The $49.6 million in loan proceeds was then funneled through shell-corporation accounts controlled by the Rabuffos, and other accounts, for the use and benefit of the defendants and their co-conspirators. They also allegedly used the funds to further perpetrate the scheme.
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