Saturday, July 25, 2009

Looking a little deeper into the States victim, Bernardo Barrera. How the hell did the Detective miss this?

I guess if I was a detective investigating this case (for that matter any case), the first thing I would do is take a close look at my victim. Perhaps I'm paranoid, I have a hard time believing anything that comes out of peoples mouths these days or maybe I'm suspicious because of that old saying from my childhood "the one that smelt it, dealt it", needless to say I'm always a little weary of people that make noise about these kinds of crimes. Granted, the access we have to records in Dade County via the internet is amazing, in some instances you don't even have to leave the computer to learn everything you need to know about someone.

My first step was checking the Miami Dade County Property Appraisers office website, a quick search here under Mr. Barrera's name brings up the Oak ave property that was involved in the fraud and the second address that comes up is what we now know to be Mr. Barrera's primary residence which according to the property records was purchased by Mr. Barrera in November 2005 for $289,000. A quick look at the mortgage recorded with the recorders office shows that Mr. Barrera purchased the property as a single man and closed on November 22, 2005. Fairly common stuff, run of the mill mortgage, all good.

My next step was to move on to Miami Dade County Clerk of Courts website. I find that Mr. Barrera got divorced back in July 2004 and that he was sued by someone else back in August 2007 and got a final judgement against him November 2007. OK all good so far. I look up the case for the divorce, when I pull up the documents all I get is pages of partially blacked out documents that look like this:

What the hell is that all about? Is his divorce some secret CIA mess? Whats the deal here? Damn that's frustrating! But then I come upon this partially blacked out page:

"...change in circumstances as to the financial ability of the Former Husband, which was involuntary and permanent in nature, Former Husband would be entitled to the Court decreasing the award of regular child support. Said being retroactive to the date of filing."
So Mr. Barrera lost his job and asked for his child support to be reduced, no biggie. I was a little irritated by the documents being blacked out, so on Friday while I was taking care of some other business downtown, I went over to the court house and requested the file for case # 04-17724FC17PJ just for shits and grins. What I got was a pile of paperwork, the office where you get the case files isn't exactly conducive to spending time and reading so I figured I'd make some copies and review it later. The lines at the two ancient copiers were horrendous, then a seat opened up so I decided to take some time and at least try to find the document that said he lost his job that I was able to find online.

So here is some of what was covered up:

14- That on or about October 29, 2005, the Former Husband was terminated from employment.

15- That as a direct result of the Former's Husband's termination from employment as aforestated, Former Husband's financial ability has substantially and materially adversely changed.

16- That forthwith upon receiving notice of termination from employment, the Former Husband did file an appropriate application for unemployment benefit compensation.

17- That the Former Husband does not possess the present financial ability to provide for dependent medical, dental and/or vision coverage at this point in time.

18- That the Former Husband does not possess the present financial ability to provide for payment in accordance with the Marital Settlement Agreement as incorporated within the Final Judgement Granting Dissolution of Marriage with reference to the child support obligation.

OK, the poor guy lost his job, is broke, collecting unemployment benefits and can't pay his child support. Alrighty then, tough luck. Lets go on...

32- That the Former Wife does possess notice that the Former Husband is presently without income of any nature of any kind.

33- That the Former Wife has notice that the Former Husband has filed application for application (sic) for unemployment benefits but has not received those benefits to date.

I'm sorry, I thought he was already collecting unemployment benefits, I guess based on line 33 we are now told that he isn't receiving the benefits yet therefore has NO INCOME. Lets keep moving...

LOOK AT THE DATE! HOLY CRAP! The guy asked for this modification of child support on NOVEMBER 4, 2005! SEE THE PROBLEM? Lets pull up a part of his mortgage that he signed on November 22, 2005 and see if you can figure it out, pay close attention to ITEM NUMBER 8...

8- Borrower's Loan Application. Borrower shall be in default if, during the Loan application process, Borrower or any persons or entities acting at the direction of Borrower or with Borrower's knowledge or consent gave materially false, misleading, or inaccurate information or statements to Lender (or failed to provide Lender with Material information) in connection with the Loan.
WOW! Do you think Mr. Barrera told County Trust Mortgage Bankers Corp that he lost his job less than ONE MONTH BEFORE THIS CLOSING TOOK PLACE? I wonder? Do you think that he listed "NO INCOME AND WAITING FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS" on his loan application? I DOUBT IT! I'll go out on a limb (since I don't have the loan application for his November 2005 primary home mortgage) and say that Bernardo Barrera "gave materially false, misleading or inaccurate information or statements to lender (or failed to provide Lender with Material information) in connection with the Loan", in other words boys and girls, BERNARDO BARRERA LIED IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE MORTGAGE FOR HIS PRIMARY RESIDENCE ON NOVEMBER 22, 2005. In case you don't understand what I am alluding to, Mr. Barrera committed whats called...


That is THE TEXTBOOK DEFINITION OF MORTGAGE FRAUD! This cop built an entire case on the statements given to him by someone that has committed the VERY SAME CRIME THAT HE IS NOW INVESTIGATING! HOLY CRAP BATMAN!

I'm going to call County Trust Mortgage Bankers Corp and ask them on Monday about this scenario, specifically I'm going to ask them "if I lose my job and and have applied for unemployment benefits a couple of weeks before closing, can I still go through with the purchase?" Somehow I think I know what they're going to tell me, then I'll ask them "what if I lost my job before closing and I don't tell you?" Again, somehow I think I know what they'll answer as well...

Getting back to Detective Jorge Baluja at the inception of this case, do you think he looked into his alleged "victim" AT ALL? I doubt it, if he would have after about 10 minutes of research online (WITHOUT LEAVING HIS DESK!), he would have found that his victim was GUILTY OF MORTGAGE FRAUD in another transaction. Remember, this is just after a few minutes of research, after finding this bomb, he could have gone further into Mr. Barrera's past with tools that aren't available to the general public but are available to law enforcement, god only knows what would have come up if he did.

So here we are again with another BOMB that could have completely changed the direction of this investigation, another neon sign alerting you that somethings fishy, yet once again Detective Baluja ignores it and moves on...

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