Many Florida residents have followed the unfolding story of a massive mortgage fraud case in the area.

The chief defendant in the case, 53, was just sentenced to 60 months in prison for his role in the scheme. Additionally, he will have five years of supervised release after that sentence is served and is required to pay the banks he victimized a total of $2,040,343.14 in restitution.

The defendant had pleaded guilty to charges that included conspiracy to commit bank fraud. He was accused of having diverted $3.5 million in real estate escrow funds, which is a violation of Title 18 of Sections 1349 and 1344 of the United States Code. He had been indicted two years before the conviction, on December 9, 2010.

The case against him alleged that he had recruited Guyanese residents of Florida and other states to act as straw buyers. Those straw buyers then put in a staggering $50 million worth of fraudulent applications for mortgage loans. They got them, with the defendant allegedly profiting.

In total, about 80 straw buyers were recruited. The transactions occurred mostly in Indian River County's Vero Lake Estates, along with other developments. According to reports, $3.5 million of the proceeds were then siphoned off and diverted from the real estate escrow accounts and into the account of a company called Raviworld New Homes. That company is owned by a co-defendant in the case. The co-defendant was sentenced to 42 months in prison for her part in the case.

Mortgage fraud legal accusations affect many Florida residents each year. Each case is unique, involving various sums of money and technical details about the scope of the transactions involved. All of those factors should be presented in a comprehensive manner by an experienced attorney to ensure that each case has a fair outcome.

Source:  Mortgage Daily, "Orange County an Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Scheme" No author given, Oct. 24, 2013