A 39-year-old Florida man faces 150 years in prison after he was recently convicted on multiple counts of bank fraud stemming from his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that cost Wells Fargo nearly $1 million.
According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, Joseph Pasquale of Fort Meyers was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and four counts of bank fraud.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Pasquale worked as a real estate sales associate for a brokerage firm based in Cape Coral.
Between October 2007 and March 2008, Pasquale was involved in the negotiation and sale of four condominium units at the Arbors of Carrollwood, to clients in California and Massachusetts, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
According to court documents, Pasquale engaged in a conspiracy to conceal sales incentives, which these clients received from the seller, from mortgage lenders.
Pasquale also allegedly facilitated private loans to the buyer-clients. The buyers then used the secret sales incentives and the private loans to bring cash to their respective real estate closings.
The U.S Attorney’s Office said that as a consequence of his actions, Pasquale helped to cause a loss of approximately $937,000 to Wells Fargo Bank when the mortgages involved in the case went into foreclosure.
Pasquale’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 8, 2016.