A St. Petersburg man is one of seventeen defendants facing charges of mortgage fraud stemming from loans taken out on condominiums on Florida’s west coast.
Carlos Mesa, Jr. is accused by attorneys from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida of being involved in a complex mortgage fraud scheme that took place in 2007 and 2008. Federal attorneys say that the scheme centered around the condominium project Portofino at Largo in Largo and Bayshore Landing in Tampa, where they allege that the defendants conspired to obtain loans for unqualified buyers at those complexes.
According to authorities, the defendants submitted fraudulent loan applications to lenders that contained false information about potential borrowers. They say the false statements made included statements about potential borrowers’ intent to occupy the condos as their primary residence; their employment, income, and assets; their liabilities; earnest money payments; sellers’ payment of kickbacks to buyers; and other information material to qualifying for a mortgage on the units.
Defendants charged in the scheme includes managers of the condominium projects, sales directors for the condominiums, marketing company operators (who are accused of laundering proceeds from the alleged scheme), mortgage brokers, and unqualified buyers. The 36-year-old Mesa, who is the only individual who is not a resident of the Miami-Dade and Broward counties, is alleged to be among the unqualified buyers in on the scheme.
If convicted of mortgage fraud, the defendants could be sentenced to up to three decades in federal prison, a fine of up to $1 million, and will be required to make restitution.