Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Doing the job that Detective Baluja and Prosecutor Kostrzewski never did, more fun with checks regarding the Barrerra mortgage fraud.

In case you guys haven't noticed, I've become rather obsessed with the Barrera Mortgage fraud case.  I'm not exactly sure why, if nothing else perhaps because of the tremendous amount of ineptitude exhibited by the lead detective that was investigating the case, Jorge Baluja and his master, Assistant State Attorney Bill Kostrzewski.  In their haste to throw together a case we've seen them both break laws, violate people's civil rights, fabricate evidence, etc, yet just when I think I've seen the worst of it, something else pops up and leaves me floored.

A week or so ago, I was rereading the original arrest affidavit that was signed by Detective Baluja and I believe authored by none other that ASA Kostrzewski when I came across this bit...

That part about no payments being made that I underlined in red really seemed strange to me...
No payments whatsoever have been made on the loan.
Something just didn't seem right about that part, I mean after all, the people involved in this fraud who made away with over $400,000 in ill gotten gains were far too smart to not make payments on the loan at least for a year in order to escape suspicion of being a fraudulent transaction.  So why would a sophisticated con man make such a simple mistake and almost certainly guarantee that his nefarious scheme was going to be found out even if the man whose identity they used for the fraud never claimed his identity was stolen?  Something seemed haywire here.

So where did that leave me?  Well, the first step was to go through all the case files again and see if there was any evidence of payments being made on the Barrera mortgage for the home located at 3390 Oak Avenue, no dice.  In fact everything in the files suggested that there had never been a single payment made which jives with what the state had presented.  Something still didn't seem right to me though.  My next step was to figure out a way to get access to records from Citibank aka Citimortgage which funded the loan in the Barrera mortgage fraud.  I realized that I had a Citibank Visa card so I went down to my local Citibank branch and decided to talk to someone in customer service, after befriending an employee at the bank, I asked whether or not they could answer some questions for me regarding a home mortgage that was in default.  Before we start, let's take a look at the good faith estimate for that mortgage to refresh our memories...

Bernardo Barrera Good Faith Estimate From Citi Mortgage for Oak Avenue Home

There you have it, the good faith estimate for the home located at 3390 Oak Avenue which was financed by CitiMortgage loan number 002005062091 with a mortgage payment of $2,900 without escrows and $2,979.58 with escrows for Hazard insurance, the same house that was at the center of the Barrera Mortgage fraud case.  So the lovely young customer service rep tells me she'll get back to me in a few days if she finds any information regarding the payment history of this loan, lo and behold a few days later I get these three gems via email...

Would you look at that?  Those three checks total $2,900 which just happens to be the amount of the mortgage payment for the Oak Avenue home's mortgage and all three check numbers have the handwritten loan number on them the matches the loan number for the Oak Avenue's home mortgage.  What a coincidence? 

The question that I'm left with after discovering the existence of these checks is WHY THE FUCK AM I DOING THE WORK THAT THE STATE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO?  If indeed the states goal was to find the man who "allegedly" stole Bernardo Barrera's identity for the commission of this crime, then why didn't the state obtain this critical evidence which would have lead directly to the people behind this case of grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and identity theft?!

For fucks sake Detective Dipshit, I'm some jackass with a blog on the last page of the internet and I've done a better job investigating this case than you have.  Detective Baluja and ASA Kostrzewski, are you going to make me go to the bank and get the surveillance videos and find out who purchased these checks as well or do you guys think you can handle that?!


  1. All the cashiers checks come from the same bank (same as earnest money check). Not that it's the bank's fault. But I wonder if there is some reason why the organizers of the fraud are such loyal customers.

  2. John, not just the same bank but the same branch. I don't think it's got anything to do with being loyal and more to do with being lazy and ignorant. These checks are easily traceable, we'll see what the new lead detective and the new state attorney on this case think about this new evidence.