A Tampa man with a long history of mortgage fraud is again returning to long-term state custody after entering a plea of guilty to wire fraud.
Investigators say Victor Thomas Clavizzao accepted over $16,000 from a church intending to use the funds to build a new worship building. However, rather than directing the money to a construction contractor, authorities say he spent the money for his own benefit.
Clavizzao was on supervised release when he accepted the money from the Plant City church, with prior convictions for fraudulently obtaining over $6 million in mortgage loans. He was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison for those crimes, which prosecutors say involved victimizing banks, Realtors, and even family members.
Clavizzao established a new venture in downtown St. Petersburg upon release and, according to prosecutors, began fraudulent activities anew. He became acquainted with the pastor of the church in question via the pastor’s brother, a life insurance salesman. One thing led to another, and the pastor asked if Clavizzao financed church projects.
Answering in the affirmative, the pastor invited Clavizzao to meet church members and inspect the site they designated for their new building. They also tendered $16,350 to him for the project which, according to prosecutors, Clavizzao pocketed and disappeared.
A native of New York, Clavizzao is free on bond until his sentencing. He is facing up to 20 years in prison.