Seven Floridians Charged With Mortgage Fraud Over N.C. Land Buys
A Miami indictment charges seven Floridians with defrauding lenders in a long-running $49.6 million mortgage fraud tied to mountain-view lot sales in North Carolina.
The defendants are accused of fleecing lenders including Bank of America, Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank and Wachovia Bank from 2003 to 2008 on lot sales in three subdivisions at the Hampton Springs development in Cashiers, N.C.
Domenico Rabuffo of Miami, Hampton Springs' chief developer, promoter and investment manager, and Mae Rabuffo of Fort Lauderdale, who had signature authority over company bank accounts, allegedly led the scheme.
Numerous straw buyers were recruited to purchase the lots in the development, submitting fraudulent loan applications, federal prosecutors charged.
Co-defendant Victor Miguel Vidal of Miami, a SunTrust loan officer, was accused of shepherding fraudulent loan applications through the approval process, including fraudulent applications for $33 million in construction loans.
The 15-count indictment charges the defendants with wire and bank fraud conspiracy and substantive bank fraud offenses. Each count carries a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine and mandatory restitution.