Nine indicted in $3 million Florida mortgage fraud scheme
A federal court in South Florida charged nine people in three separate indictments for their alleged roles in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme. The scheme involves inflated mortgages tied to high-end properties sold in the Versailles development in Wellington, Fla. The U.S. attorney's office indicted Carl Alexander, 45, of Parkland, Fla.; Carol Asbury, 59, an attorney from Lake Worth, Fla.; Patrick Brinson, 34, of Miami; David Lam, 42, of Parkland, Fla.; David Miller, 43, of Miramar, Fla.; Godfrey Myles, 42, a former professional football player from Miami; Michael Samuda, 38, an attorney from Weston, Fla.; Thomas Thelusma, 40, a firefighter from Miami; and Victoria Wilson, 30, a mortgage broker from Hollywood, Fla. The U.S. Attorneys Office of the Southern District of Florida accused the nine defendants in three separate indictments of using a straw buyer to acquire single-family, luxury homes at inflated prices. As part of the scheme, the defendants allegedly gave different prices to the lender and straw-buyer, with the lender receiving a higher cost estimate on the mortgage. "The difference between the real price and the inflated price was either made to appear as if it were a debt owed to business entities controlled by the defendants and their co-conspirators or was made to appear as profits to the seller," the attorney's office said in a statement released with the indictments Thursday. "The fraudulent loan proceeds were instead laundered through multiple accounts to conceal the source and distribution of the money and were ultimately used for the benefit of the defendants and their co-conspirators." The charges were outlined in three separate indictments that accuse the defendants of devising schemes that led to more than $3 million in fraudulent loan proceeds. The defendants face various charges, including mortgage fraud, the making of false statements and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. The charges carry sentences ranging between five and 20 years. Write to Kerri Panchuk.