Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The "proposed" special jury instructions that resulted from a government witness destroying evidence, another point of view on the Plantation Cops mortgage fraud case and a company that banks hired to fabricate and forge documents

We left off yesterday discussing cooperating government witness Rene Rodriguez Jr. confessing to the court that he had destroyed evidence after he became a witness in the Plantation Cops mortgage fraud case. After presumably hearing several of the defense attorneys argue for the dismissal of the case because of the destruction of possibly exculpatory evidence, the defense proposed special jury instructions that outlined the destruction of the evidence and how it may have impacted the credibility of the governments witness. Here are the proposed jury instructions...

plantation cops special jury instruction regarding the destruction of evidence by Rene Rodriguez Jr

Here are the most interesting bits of the instructions...
...both co-defendants separately admitted to this court, under oath that they "would also forge the purchaser's signature on many documents that were initially submitted to the financial institution and mortgage lending companies."

...after he agreed to truthfully cooperate with the government, co defendant Rodriguez intentionally destroyed documents that were material and pertinent both to the facts of this case, and to Rodriguez's honest compliance with his promise to the Government to be truthful and complete in his cooperation.

...Rodriguez intentionally tampered with computer equipment...to the extent that the electronic data stored on that computer equipment was destroyed and could not be accessed by the Government or the Defendants.

...this court found after considering the evidence and Rodriguez's testimony, that despite his denials, Rodriguez had indeed intentionally tampered with computer equipment, rendering the information stored on the computers inaccessible to the government and the defense as well. You are also entitled to consider this court's finding that Rodriguez lied under oath...

...you are also entitled to infer...that the electronic information he made inaccessible...were material to the case before you and that they would have established reasonable doubt as to the guilt of each of the defendants.
In other words, there were documents that could have exonerated each and every one of the defendants on trial that have been destroyed and are impossible to retrieve, but rather than dismiss the charges we want you to determine their guilt or innocence without these crucial documents. Am I the only one that doesn't understand this? What am I missing?

Now, let's look to one of our readers that left an interesting comment on our post from last Wednesday regarding the Plantation cops mortgage fraud case..

Anonymous Anonymous said...
In response to the post which states Gulla/Rodriguez made 3%, thus making more than Guaracino, please keep this in mind: 1. Let's assume they made 3% per loan. On a $300,000 loan thier cut was $9,000. 2. On the same property, Guaracino flips it for a $100,000 profit. 3. It is an 11-to-1 ratio in favor of Guaracino. Please explain how Guaracino is a Patsy in these deals???? Furthermore, check the mortgages which were recorded with the county. It is my understanding NOT one of these were forged by the brokers...these defendants are hardly innocent.April 4, 2011 11:39 AM
This comment brings up an interesting point, if indeed the mortgages were actually executed by the cops that were charged in this case, why was Guaracino making $100,000 profit flipping the homes that weren't his? I'll have to do a little digging before we can properly address this comment.

Now comes the best part. After sitting back over the last couple of years and hearing about people who've been arrested for lying on mortgage documents, forging signatures on loan applications, stealing peoples identities for the commission of mortgage fraud or simply lying about their income, I was simply floored when I came across this story last Sunday on 60 Minutes...

DID YOU GUYS GET THAT? Banks hired companies to fabricate loan documents then have fictitious people sign the documents as fake bank VP's who then had their signatures notarized by notaries who knew that the signatures and documents were FRAUDS! Even worse, the banks then used these documents to further perpetrate the fraud on the borrowers who were in foreclosure and the court system! I have to ask, why have these people gone unpunished? Where is our favorite assclown prosecutor? Why is the government destroying the lives of people involved in street level mortgage frauds when you have massive conspiracies like this going on costing the country billions if not trillions of dollars?


  1. Instead of dismissing the case, the judge is effectively instructing the jury to come back with a "not guilty" verdict. It's a little creepy that the juge seems to be afraid of the prosecutor but the case is still demoloshed.

  2. So what happens to the witnesses? Do they walk? Please tell me these guys are going to serve time.

  3. What a cluster. Why waste more time and money sending this case to a jury. I still believe the defendants knew at least part of what was happening but at this point it will be next to impossible to get a conviction. Even if the jury comes back with a guilty verdict, it seems that the next judge will and should throw-out the conviction.

  4. This story makes me physically ill! As much as I enjoy following the case through your blog, I can only hope that it is over very soon, so these guys can get back to some sort of semblance of a life. It's a very sad story all around. I for one would rather have my tax dollars go towards getting murderers and pedophiles off the street.
    Most of the banks involved in this case have gone out of business or been bailed out by the government. The alleged $16 million that was "defrauded" (and who hasn't been "defrauded" by their bank? i.e. ATM Withdrawal fees, overdraft charges, maintenance fees the list just goes on and on) from these banks would not have kept them afloat. It is just a drop in the bucket. If these banks couldn't stay open charging the fees that all banks charge, then obviously there was something else wrong. A much deeper problem, maybe THAT is something worth looking into and not dragging these guys (who from the evidence presented are innocent) through the mud!

  5. You should not be so quick to determine these defendants are innocent. The bottom line is they purchased 64 properties, made payments on them and subsequently sold them for a substantial profit. They did nothing against their own will. They signed numerous disclosures at closing which they stated the home they were purchasing was going to be their primary residence...64 properties!!!! Come'on wake up, these cops found mortgage brokers willing to do whatever it took to get them the loans. Furthermore, wait until the evidence is presented which relates to the title agent (Stoll). It will clearly show how the same escrow funds were used for multiple purchases. Yes the brokers made commissions from the loans, but the REAL money was made from the flipping of the properties.

  6. Again, what will happen to the brokers?

  7. 4:05, brokers cut a deal before anyone was indicted, I'm not sure if that deal is still on the table considering what's gone on. I'll see if I can get a copy of the plea agreement.

  8. This is for the person who commented about my 3% comment,Im sorry I didnt explain myself correctly when I wrote that.my comment was reguarding guaracino getting approved at 4% and then at closing it was 7% .thats the 3% im talking about.And as far as guaracino making money he was investing in real estate,Isnt that an investors reason for investing.I dont know about you, but if you would do buisness with someone who would screw you out of 3%,reguardless of weather or not you made money,Then I would love to go into buisness with you.These cop and fbi agents are only guilty of dealing with Matt and Rene PERIOD!!!!!!

  9. My take is that the 3% mark-up was for the risk that Rene and Matt were taking. Who would commit loan fraud and risk going to jail on a loan unless there was serious money involved. I don't commit fraud or break the law but it seems to me a basic principle of risk and reward.

    That goes back to the buyers. Why would they take a 7% loan if they could get a lower rate elsewhere? Why, because other lenders wouldn't buy the, idea that the defendants were buying more then one principle residence in a very short period of time.

    There are no innocent parties in this mess.

  10. @2:35 FYI Mortgage brokers do not get paid directly off of the interest rate. Using your example, if the rate was 4% and it ended up at 7%, the brokers DO NOT get paid 3% (the difference in the rate). They would have received a yield spread premium based on the interest rate (the lender and market determine the yeild spread). The example you give sounds like they were trying to get them a conventional loan and when that fell through they took them sub-prime. Either way these cops DID NOT and WOULD NOT qualify for the loan(s). I researched one of the cops real estate purchases and found in less than two years he purchased 5 properties for over $2.5 million. He subsequently sold two of them for a combined profit of $385,000. Each were sold within one year of the purchase date. Since they were sold in a years time and at a substantial profit, the interest rate on the note is irrelevant.

    Also, you make me laugh when you say "...These cop and fbi agents are only guilty of dealing with Matt and Rene PERIOD!!!!!!"
    There were 64 properties involved!!!!!!! so these cops must have loved to get "screwed" over and over again. I understand you don't want your friend or family member to do time, but as the previous person commented "There are no innocent parties in this mess".

  11. I don't know the specifics of this case, I was only responding to earlier posts, so I may be wrong. I know nothing about the mortgage business, obiously... You Do!
    As far as who is guilty & who is innocent, only they know? The only thing I do know for SURE about this case is Rene Rodriguez and what kind of person he is... So when you said I knew someone involved in this case, You were RIGHT. I do know someone & his name is Rene Rodriguez Jr!! ... And seeing that he is testifying against these Law Enforcement Officers, considering that he has been on the Wrong side of the Law for the last 25 years, That Definatly makes me LAUGH!!

  12. OK anon
    """brokers DO NOT get paid 3% (the difference in the rate). They would have received a yield spread premium based on the interest rate (the lender and market determine the yeild spread)"""
    and would you expect that to be more or less than 3%?

  13. About """Why would they take a 7% loan if they could get a lower rate elsewhere? """ they might have assumed that the 7% reflected a fair premium for the overleveraged investment property purchases they didn't have the income to pay for.

  14. @7:12 I know Rene too. I don't know him that well but I know people who do. I am certainly not trying to defend him in any way. It appeared this blog was trying to pin it all on the brokers when in fact they are all guilty.

    John, after reviewing the five loans I referred to in an earlier post, it appears they were a mix of Alt-A and Sub-Prime mortgages. At that time these lenders limited their yield spread to a max of 2% on these products. Also, on the conventional side a 4% rate could have paid the same 2% yield spread.

  15. 11:55, I'm not trying to pin the guilt on any one person involved in this case. I agree wholeheartedly that everyone that was indicted has some level of culpability, there's no way this many transactions went down without everyone involved not knowing that something wasn't kosher.