Former newspaper publisher charged in $10 million mortgage fraud conspiracy

Mortgage & Real Estate

The former publisher of a newspaper, who also worked as both a real estate agent and a mortgage broker, is facing charges that he and others participated in a $10 million mortgage fraud conspiracy in Florida.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, Marco Laureti is the owner of Laureti Publishing Company. Laureti is also a licensed real estate agent and a mortgage broker.

Court documents stated that Laureti, along with Michelle Cabrera, who owned Florida Elite Title Escrow, Felix Mostelac, and Pedro Melian participated in a scheme involving a condominium complex in Fort Lauderdale.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Laureti, Mostelac and Melian made false and fraudulent statements to a financial institution on loan applications and closing statements for the multimillion dollar condominiums.

Once the unnamed financial institution approved the loans, Cabrera, who served as the title agent on the relevant transactions, allegedly diverted the loan proceeds to fund the cash the borrower was expected to bring to the property’s closing, as well as diverting additional money to various companies owned by Laureti and Mostelac, all at Laureti’s direction.

Additionally, court documents state that Laureti and Mostelac used a similar scheme on the loan applications and closing statements to purchase their own multimillion dollar residential properties in Miami Beach.

All told, the scheme defrauded the financial institution of approximately $10 million.

For their roles in the scheme, Laureti and Mostelac are facing one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, and multiple counts of wire fraud affecting a financial institution.

Cabrera and Melian are each charged by criminal information with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution.

If convicted, each of the people involved faces up to 30 years in prison on each charged count.

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