JURY FINDS MORTGAGE FRAUD DEFENDANTS GUILTY OF ALL COUNTS IN MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME INVOLVING THE HIDDEN BAY CONDOMINIUM COMPLEX IN AVENTURA, FLORIDASeptember 30, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, announced that a federal jury found defendants Neil Fagan, Pamela Johnson, and Veldora Arthur guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, and all substantive mail-fraud counts set forth in the February 3, 2011 superseding indictment. The indictment included charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and substantive mail fraud. The conspiracy and mail fraud counts carry a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. All defendants were remanded into the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons following their convictions.Fagan and Johnson were charged in Counts 1 through 5 of the indictment and were convicted on all counts. According to the evidence, Fagan recruited the straw buyers who bought the properties listed in the indictment and received approximately $1,300,000 in mortgage fraud proceeds. Johnson served as the settlement agent who handled the real estate closings and diverted fraud proceeds to herself and family members. Arthur, charged and convicted of Counts 1, 3, and 5, was an Executive Assistant to the Fire Chief in the City of Miami Fire Department who served as a straw buyer. Arthur received approximately $317,000 in fraud proceeds in less than a month.The properties in the case were located at 3370 NE 190 Street in Aventura, Florida, which is known as the Hidden Bay Condominium Complex. During the course of the conspiracy approximately $11,000,000 in fraudulent loans were issued, resulting in a loss to lenders of approximately $7,000,000.Sentencing for Johnson and Fagan has been scheduled for December 15, 2011at 8:30am. Sentencing for Arthur has been scheduled for December 16, 2011 at 8:30 am.Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Armando Rosquete and Sean McLaughlin.
I missed a crucial part of the press release after a quick glance, earlier today our friend Bill Cooke from Random Pixels highlighted what we missed...
All defendants were remanded into the custody of the United States Bureau of Prisons following their convictions.
HOLY SHIT! How the hell did I miss that? Veldora and company were thrown in jail right after the verdict came down? Lo and behold, Veldora and her codefendants are actually sitting in the federal detention center in downtown Miami! For the foreseeable future Ms. Arthur is going to be known as federal inmate #96343-004 and will be calling a cell much like this one in the Miami FDC home...
This really caught me off guard since most defendants that I've known of are allowed to stay out on bail while they're awaiting sentencing, I'm amazed that they took her into custody right after the verdict. Regardless of what Veldora may have done, I can't begin to imagine how hard this must be for herself and her family, first the indictment and now the incredible fall from being the City of Miami's first black female firefighter and assistant fire chief to now simply being a convicted felon sitting in jail possibly for the next twenty years.