Friday, February 25, 2011

How 14 mortgage fraud indictments came down (w/video)

The story: Fourteen people, including two Bradenton residents, were charged today in a large-scale mortgage fraud conspiracy involving more than $47 million in loans and 22 residential properties.

How it happened: The defendants allegedly falsified documents to nearly 12 local banks and private mortgage lenders to obtain loans.
They allegedly falsified the real seller and buyer in the property transactions, the real purchase price and the buyer actual income, assets and liabilities.

When it occurred: Over a span of 10 years, from October 1997-March 2008.

Local players: Bradenton residents charged in the case include Jeffrey T. Berghorn, 46, who bought and sold homes in Sarasota with two others charged in the scheme and Lisa R. Rotolo, 47, who was a title agent and owner of Diamond Title in Sarasota. She worked alongside another defendant charged in the case.

Here's my first posting from today's breaking news, as U.S. Attorney Robert E. O'Neill and Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight announced the charges in Sarasota. Check out a copy of the indictment here, and a more detailed report will publish in Saturday's Bradenton Herald. Below is Paul Videla's video from the announcements:

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