Article Courtesy of The
South Florida Business Journal
Published February 15, 2017
Sixteen South Floridians and one St. Petersburg
resident were charged for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme
involving two condominium projects on the west coast of Florida, the
U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida announced
The bulk of the seventeen defendants – 88 percent – were Miami-Dade
County residents. One defendant was a Broward County resident and one
was from outside of South Florida.
The seventeen defendants charged are:
Miguel Soto, Jr., of Miami
Hector Raul Santana, of Miami Lakes
Miguel Faraldo, Miami
Barbara E. Zas, of Miami
Maria Rosa Diaz, of Miami Springs
Heberto Elias Gamboa, of Miami
Michael Jose Gonzalez, of Miami
Jenny Nillo, of Miami
Jaime Jesus Sola Avila, of Miami
Jorge Angel Sola, of Miami
Emily Marie Echavarria, of Miami
Eduardo Cruz Toledo, of Miami
Yanet Huet, of Miami
Carlos Mesa, Jr., of St. Petersburg
Yipsy Rabelo Clavelo, of Pompano Beach
Jose Salazar, of Miami
Cynthia Velasquez, of Miami
The alleged scheme ran from 2007 through 2008. During
that window, the defendants conspired to carry out a complex mortgage
fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The alleged
scheme centered on the Largo condominium project Portofino at Largo and
the Tampa project Bayshore Landing.
The defendants allegedly conspired to obtain mortgage loan for
unqualified buyers of units at Portofino and Bayshore Landing. The
defendant allegedly submitted fraudulent loan application to lenders
which contained false statements about the borrowers, according to the
U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The defendants allegedly had different roles in the scheme. Miguel Soto,
JR. was the manager of Indian Palm Holdings LLC and 5221 Bayshore LLC,
which allegedly sold the units to the unqualified buyers. Hector Raul
Santana was the director of sales for Indian Palms, according to the
U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Miguel Faraldo, Jenny Nillo, Jorge Angel Sola, and Heberto Elias Gamboa
operated marketing companies which allegedly laundered the proceeds of
the scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
Maria Rosa Diaz was the president of Miami-based mortgage broker Crisvan
Investment Group, which allegedly prepared and submitted the fraudulent
loan applications, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Soto, Santana, Faraldo, Barbara E. Zas, Diaz, Jaime Sola, Emily
Echavarria, Eduardo Cruz Toledo and other co-conspirators allegedly
recruited the unqualified buyers, who included Michael Gonzalez, Yanet
Huet, Carlos Mesa, Jr., Yipsy Rabelo Clavelo, Jose Salazar, Jorge Sola
and Cynthia Velasquez, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Mortgage fraud schemes are common in South Florida. Past schemes include
an ex-newspaper publisher and other charged in a $10 million mortgage
fraud scheme and a Miami real estate developer who pleaded guilty in a
$64 million mortgage fraud scheme.