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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Sept. 30, 2011


Jury Finds Mortgage Fraud Defendants Guilty of All Counts in Mortgage Fraud Scheme Involving the Hidden Bay Condominium Complex in Aventura, Florida

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 one through five 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 one, three, and five, 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, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. Sentencing for Arthur has been scheduled for December 16, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Armando Rosquete and Sean McLaughlin.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.


Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida

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