FDLE arrests five in mortgage fraud case
Three Cape Coral residents were among five people arrested today in a mortgage fraud case officials say involved multiple loan applications containing false information.
Forty-five loan applications containing fraudulent information were identified during an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Office of Financial Regulation, according to a prepared statement issued by FDLE today.
Twenty-five of those loans are now in foreclosure or lis pendens, totaling more than $6.2 million, officials said.
The five are accused of helping mortgage borrowers obtain home mortgages by falsifying employment and financial records.
The investigation began in July 2007 following a routine examination by the OFR of Cape Coral based Amara Mortgage. Investigators allege that representatives from Amara Mortgage falsified or assisted in the falsification of mortgage loans by using fictitious business names as a borrower’s employer. Further investigation revealed that three businesses – Allcoast Insurance, Susy’s Express and White Shark Fabrications had provided Amara Mortgage with fraudulent employment verifications that were ultimately submitted to the lenders, officials said.
The following individuals were arrested in connection with this case:
– Maria Arantegui, 34, of Cape Coral – sole officer and stockholder of Amara Mortgage – charged with 14 counts of grand theft and one count scheme to defraud a financial institution;
– Alfredo Arantegui, 38, of Cape Coral – spouse of Maria Arantegui – charged with 14 counts of grand theft and one count scheme to defraud a financial institution. Alredo Arantegui was also a borrower in default who utilized fictitious employment on his 1003 loan application;
– Asuncion Menendez, 55, of Lehigh Acres – owner of Susy’s Express, the fictitious employer used on many borrower’s loan applications – charged with one count of scheme to defraud a financial institution;
– Damarys Lugo, 41, of Miami – owner of Allcoast Insurance, the fictitious employer used on several borrower’s loan applications – charged with one count of scheme to defraud a financial institution; and
– Maria D. Dager, 41, of Cape Coral – borrower who purchased two residences based on fraudulent loan applications – charged with two counts of grand theft and one count of scheme to defraud a financial institution.
Jorge Perez, 50, of Fort Myers – owner of White Shark Fabrications, the fictitious employer used on several borrowers’ loan applications – is due to turn himself in today at the Lee County Jail and will be charged with one count of scheme to defraud a financial institution, officials said.