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Miami Real Estate Agents Sentenced in Multimillion-Dollar Fraud

Two former Miami real estate agents were sentenced Thursday for their roles in a $2.4 million mortgage fraud scheme.

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Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department's criminal division announced that Jose Filgueiras, 43, was found guilty on September 9 of three counts of bank fraud. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William J. Zloch of the Southern District of Florida on Thursday to serve 57 months in prison.

Jose Filgueiras's wife, Raquel Filgueiras, 39, was found guilty at trial on the same day of one count of bank fraud; she was sentenced by Judge Zloch to spend 30 months in prison.

Three co-conspirators in the case were sentenced on November 12. Jose Armando Alvarado, a former Miami area real estate agent and mortgage broker and Raquel Filgueiras's father, was sentenced to 135 months in prison.

Alberto Morejon, a former loan closer and title agent, was sentenced to 36 months in prison.

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Alvarado's sister, Reyna Orts, a former mortgage broker and the mother of Morejon, will spend 50 months in prison for her role in the scheme. Each of the co-defendants was convicted at trial on various counts of wire and bank fraud.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Alvarado, along with the other four individuals, controlled and operated three real estate entities in the Miami area: South Florida Realty; American Mortgage Lending, a mortgage broker; and Royal Atlantic Title, a title insurance agency.

From February 2004 through November 2009, Alvarado and his co-conspirators used these companies to forge documents and misrepresent important facts to financial institutions in order to fraudulently secure loans totaling more than $2.4 million. Officials say the loans were often obtained by submitting falsified supporting documentation, such as tax returns, W2 forms, bank statements, and employment verifications.

Evidence at trial showed that Alvarado and his co-conspirators subsequently enriched themselves by diverting loan proceeds, collecting brokerage fees, and inflating real estate commissions on the property sales. The group obtained control of multiple properties during the real estate boom with the intent to flip and sell them for a profit or control them as rental properties.

The Justice Department says the defendants used their knowledge and experience in the real estate industry to conceal their scheme by executing quit-claim deeds and failing to record or falsely recording mortgage deeds and other documentation with the state of Florida.

The case was investigated by the FBI's Miami field office and the Miami-Dade Police Department.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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