Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The mystery man in the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud case.

Everyone remember the Bernardo Barrera mortgage fraud that was expertly investigated by Detective Jorge Baluja then subsequently prosecuted by ASA Bill Kostrzewski?  In case the details have slipped your mind, let's recap, from the Miami Herald article:
...someone in February used the identity of Bernardo Humbero Barreira to obtain a $484,286.06 mortgage from lender Citi Mortgage for a house owned by Romney.
The price tag: $600,000. But Romney had paid just $185,000 for the two-bedroom, one-bathroom house just six days earlier.
Martinez paid a $123,286.06 down payment, according to the warrant by Miami-Dade Detective Jorge Baluja
Get it?  Someone used Barrera's (or is it Barreira) identity to obtain a $484,286.06 mortgage to purchase a house owned by Romney who had purchased it six days earlier for $185,000.  Michael Martinez lent the buyer $123,286.06 for the down payment.  Easy right?

So here we are nearly two years after the arrests and there's a whole mess of people that were involved in this fraud that haven't been arrested.  If you subscribe to the theory that Barrera never appeared at the closing, then why hasn't the guy who impersonated him been arrested?  After all, isn't he the one actually guilty of identity theft?  If indeed there was in impostor, it's his hand that forged Barrera's signature, so why hasn't he been charged?  Nearly two years into this case we have Michael Martinez the man who lent the down payment to the buyer whose cut a deal with the state and is practically finished with his probation, why hasn't he given up the impostor?  On the other hand we have John Romney, the man who made off with nearly $500k as a result of this fraud whose sold out everyone but his mother (who knows, maybe her too) in order to save himself from doing any jail time, surely he must have implicated the impostor right?  

Where is this mystery man folks?  This missing member of the "organized scheme to defraud" could stitch together the entire case, yet why is this crucial member of the fraud missing?  If indeed he did exist, he could identify who paid him to show up to execute the docs (surely he didn't do it for free), who recruited him and who had knowledge of what was going on, yet here we sit quickly approaching the two year anniversary of the arrests and we have ZIP, NADA, ZILCH!  Wouldn't you think that this would be the first and most important member of this scheme that Detective Baluja would have gone after?  We'll scour through his deposition transcripts again and see what he's got to say...


  1. You just don't get it, this wasn't a real case, it's more accurately described as a publicity stunt for the task forces leaders. Broaden your scope beyond this case and you'll see the big picture.

  2. Thanks for that cryptic comment but we need some proof of your hypothesis. Please feel free to send us tips at