Monday, March 29, 2010

Another major oversight by our friends Detective Jorge Baluja and ASA Bill Kostrzewski...

Seemingly every time we start going through the paperwork for the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud case, we always find something new that's been overlooked.  A few weeks back we stumbled upon the purchase contract for the Oak Avenue home that is at the center of the fraud and discovered that the man who claimed he had no knowledge of the fraud occurring until months afterwords, Bernardo Barrera, had actually executed the purchase contract!  This fact alone proves that Mr. Barrera was in on the fraud from day one, yet the state chose to ignore the purchase contract.

Now, let's recap the series of events that led up to the fraudulent transaction that we've been writing about...
  • John Romney and Maxine Andrews as sellers execute a contract selling the property located at 3390 Oak Avenue to Bernardo Barrera who also signs the contract on January 14, 2008.  Sale price for the home is $600,000.  Here's the contract...
3390 Oak Avenue Purchase Contract                                                            

  • Maxine Andrews executes a second purchase contract as the seller on January 19, 2008 for $185,000 for the SAME OAK AVENUE HOME with John Romney as the buyer.  Since this home is partially owned by an estate, the contract has to be submitted to the court for approval.  Here's a copy of that contract as it appears in the Miami Dade Clerk of Courts website...
Court Approved Contract for Sale of Home to Romney                                                            

Does that make sense to anyone?  Why was a sales contract prepared with John Romney as the seller when he didn't even own the home?  Why did the owner of the home, Maxine Andrews, sign a contract selling the home to Bernardo Barrera for $600,000 when just a few days later she signed another contract selling the same home to John Romney for $185,000?  Does that seem Kosher to you all?  Let's take a look at the sellers signature on both contracts and compare, maybe someone forged her signature?

From the purchase contract for $600,000 to Bernardo Barrera...

and her signature on the purchase contract for $185,000 to John Romney...

Close enough for us or at the very least it should have been close enough for the police to go find Maxine Andrews and find out why she executed two separate purchase contracts for the same home five days and $415,000 apart with two different buyers!  

There you have it folks, more people that were intimately involved in the "Organized Scheme to Defraud" that were left out of the investigation.  If Maxine Andrews did indeed sign both of those contracts, she was just as guilty as any of the other defendants that were arrested, yet as far as we can see, she was never even questioned.  Did we expect any less from Detective Jorge Baluja and ASA Bill Kostrzewski?  Could this case get more screwed up?  Could we possibly find more fail than we already have?

Of course we can!


  1. How certain can you be about the timeline? Is it possible that the contract for $185k was the one written up first, but then it sat around in the estate office for a while till it got filed? There was no date on Maxine Andrews sig shown on the $185k contract. Are there other sigs there with dates?

  2. The dates are there, but more importantly why was Maxine Andrews name on ANY contract with John Romney as the seller and Bernardo Barrera as the buyer?

    Based on what little it took to make the other arrests (with the exception of Romney), there should be no reason for Maxine Andrews not to have been arrested as well.

  3. Has anyone been fired over the mishandling of this case? Is the FBI investgating the police and the prosecutor? I believe it the cop and prosecutors actions could be considered a color of law abuse.

  4. Of course we can...however, no one of importance will dig deeper as you have already shown.

  5. Good point Mepsipax, the question is why?