Cape man gets 22 years for mortgage fraud scam
A Cape Coral man was sentenced in federal court Monday to serve 22 years in prison and pay millions of dollars in restitution for a 2005-06 mortgage fraud scheme.
Ronald Luczak, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Steele, and must pay about $5.9 million in restitution to victims of the scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Luczak pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in September.
Cape Coral Equity and Development, a company owned by Luczak, received more than $5.8 million from the fraud scheme, officials said.
Court documents indicate that the company obtained more than $30 million in mortgages on 37 or more Cape properties.
U.S. attorneys say Luczak’s company recruited straw buyers, indicating on mortgage documents that the buyers would purchase the properties; falsely inflated property values; fraudulently reported the incomes, occupations and employment of purported buyers; provided false schedules of real estate and assets said to be owned by the buyers; and falsely stated that the buyers would use the properties as primary residences.
Luczak’s company participated in a “Ponzi-type arrangement,” paying straw buyers’ mortgage obligations with the proceeds of other straw buyers’ mortgages, attorneys said.
Luczak’s wife, Lisa, and New Jersey loan processor Sandra Mainardi were each previously sentenced to 46 months in prison for their roles in the scheme.
The case was investigated by the IRS and FBI, and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Davis Haas.
Mortgage fraud is an issue which the U.S. Attorney’s Office says “plagues Middle Florida and has contributed to the current economic situation nationwide.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI divisions of Tampa and Jacksonville, and various federal, state and local law enforcement groups have banded together to form the Middle District of Florida’s Mortgage Fraud Surge. The program is an effort to focus resources on the mortgage fraud crisis and hasten bringing perpetrators to justice.