Monday, July 20, 2009

THE MIAMI HERALD DELIVERS! FAIL, that is! More crappy reporting from David Ovalle...

So I'm doing a little research on David Ovalle (the guy who wrote the article in the Miami Herald on October 7, 2008 regarding this case) and come across this, I notice from what I read that Mr. Ovalle has some trouble with interpreting basic facts. In the Ranck story he made a mistake regarding the speedy trial deadline and was corrected by several people in the comments section of the blog. I have now obtained the Arrest Affidavit for the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud/ID theft arrests so I decided to compare it to what Mr. Ovalle wrote in his article. Here is a quote from Mr. Ovalle's article:
"From Estefano's escrow account, $369,896.88 was paid to Romney, and $135,000 was kicked back to Martinez's bank account."
Help me out here, the way I read it was that the attorney paid Romney (the seller) $369,896.88 and then "kicked back" (again from the attorneys escrow account) $135,000 to Martinez (the guy who lent the straw buyer the cash to close). Is that the way you read that quote from the Herald article that Mr. Ovalle wrote? If so, isn't that juicy? Doesn't that make for scandalous news? SHAME ON THE ATTORNEY for KICKING MONEY BACK to someone! Is there any good way to interpret the term "kicked back"? The term reeks of wrong doing, under handed business and overall shadiness. The accusations are bad enough as it is but this little bit of extra spice is what Mr. Ovalle needed to blow the story up. Lets look at reality now. Here is an excerpt from the arrest affidavit for this case:

Estefano caused $369,896.88 of the loan proceeds to be wired from Estefano’s escrow account to Romney’s bank account. Subsequently, $135,000.00 was wire transferred from Romney’s account to the bank account of the third party Michael Martinez. No payments whatsoever have been made on the loan.”
Huh? Where's the monies that were "KICKED BACK" from the trust account? As I read the text of the arrest affidavit I see that there was a $396,896.88 disbursement that was made to the seller from the proceeds of the sale of the home. WHERE DID MR. OVALLE FIND THAT THE ATTORNEY KICKED BACK ANY MONEY TO A THIRD PARTY? WTF IS THAT ALL ABOUT!? How did we get from whats in the affidavit to "KICKED BACK to Martinez's account"! This is what did it for me, it just didn't seem probable that an attorney thats been practicing since 1999 (from the article) would do something like this. Not to mention that the affidavit outlines how John Romney and Michael Martinez made off with nearly $400k but I see nothing in the arrest affidavit that says anything about the attorney making anything off the ill gotten gains from this transaction. WTF x 100! This is just another example of sloppy reporting at the herald, but in this instance its made a bad situation MUCH WORSE. Whats the public perception when they read that the attorney "kicked back" money from their escrow account? Can there be a more injurious statement in this instance? This is just the beginning.

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