A wide-ranging indictment has charged 14 people with an intricate mortgage-fraud scheme that encompassed 22 residential properties in Sarasota and more than $47.5 million in loans.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation joined forces to investigate the crimes.
“By some accounts, (the scheme) drove up housing prices and tax bills and (hastened the rate of) foreclosures,” said Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight. “It made a few rich and made banks and others suffer the consequences.”
The 14 defendants include real estate agents, mortgage brokers, title officers, loan officers and investors.
Investigators said for more than 10 years, the defendants used false statements and fraudulent finance documents to receive loans from nearly a dozen federally insured banks and mortgage lenders in Sarasota.
Investigators said they lied about the true buyer and seller of a property; the actual purchase price; the intended use of the property; the buyer’s income, assets and liabilities; and the amount and source of equity used to make a purchase.
The maximum penalty for one count of conspiracy is five years and $1 million, and the maximum penalty for one count of wire fraud and making false statements to a financial institution in connection with a loan is 30 years and $1 million.
Under indictment are:
R. Craig Adams, 43, of Sarasota
Jeffrey T. Berghorn, 46, of Bradenton
George R. Bobka Sr, 75, of Sarasota
Richard J. Bobka, 41, of Sarasota
Thomas M. Brustad, 41, of Sarasota
George R. Cavallo, 45, of Kirkland, Wash.
Joseph J. Dirocco, 41, of Sarasota
Jonathan L. Glucker, 43, of Sarasota
Paula L. Hornberger, 40, of Kirkland, Wash.
Heather L. Kabobel, 39, of Sarasota
Bonnie J. Katz, 58, of Sarasota
Derek W. Luther, 40, of Sarasota
Lisa R. Rotolo, 47, of Bradenton
Joel A. Streinz, 52, of Nokomis
Contact Robin Roy at email@example.com.