Couple plead guilty in $30M mortgage fraud; Cape team used own company
A Cape Coral couple pleaded guilty Wednesday to mortgage fraud of more than $30 million through their company, Cape Coral Equity and Development Group, between late 2005 and 2006.
Ronald Luczak pleaded guilty to wire fraud, money laundering and conducting prohibited monetary transactions and faces a possible 50 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, a five-year term of supervised release, restitution to victims of the fraud and forfeiture of any property “constituting or derived from proceeds obtained as a result of violation,” according to a prepared statement from the middle district of Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office
Lisa Luczak pleaded guilty to wire fraud and faces a possible sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, a five-year term of supervised release, restitution to victims of the fraud and forfeiture of any property “constituting or derived from proceeds obtained as a result the violation,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office statement said.
The Luczaks reportedly obtained more than $30 million from mortgages on 37 or more properties in Cape Coral between September 2005 and December 2006, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office officials.
Cape Coral Equity and Development Group obtained the mortgage money through property purchases by 33 “straw buyers” by inflating property values, making a fraudulent statement of income, making false statements about owned real estate and assets, misrepresenting investment properties as primary residences, making false statements of occupation and employment and “failure to disclose that CCEDG would be responsible for making the mortgage payments,” officials said.
Reports indicate the Luczaks received more than $5.8 million in excess funds from the fraudulent mortgage deals, said U.S. Attorney’s Office officials. The Luczaks promised the straw buyers funds to pay mortgage payments, but due to excess spending by the couple, the mortgages for initial straw purchases were paid by loan proceeds paid to subsequent straw buyers, officials said.
The IRS and FBI investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Haas.