A father and son, among others, are headed to prison after their involvement in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme at a luxury condo complex in Miami. This complex, known as the Jade Residences at Brickell Bay, is located on Brickell Bay Drive, just one block east of the Financial District (Brickell Avenue) of Miami, Florida. Many consider Brickell to be the fastest growing neighborhood in Miami, with new restaurants, bars, shops, and more being located in the area.

Prosecutors noted that the father and son used straw buyers to purchase residential properties at the Jade Residences and submitted false documents including mortgage loan applications and HUD-1 statements to lenders in order to fraudulently obtain more than $5.6 million in mortgage proceeds from lenders. Then, they created a second false version of the HUD-1 statements, which they provided to the seller with the actual sales prices listed. To keep their mortgage fraud scheme going, the father and son made mortgage and condo association payments, and even collected rent from the units.

The father, Florida real estate broker Andres Mendez Sr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was recently sentenced to 5 years in prison. His son, Andy Mendez Jr., pleaded similarly and was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, 18 months of home confinement, and 5 years of supervised release. Both of them were ordered to pay restitution of $4.23 million.

Many lessons can be taken away from this mortgage fraud scheme. Most importantly, always ask questions, do your research, align yourself with Florida real estate professionals, and trust your “gut” if something seems a little fishy to you! At Real Estate Closing Solutions of Orlando, we are ready to help you through the entire real estate transaction process. Give us a call at 407-615-8550 to speak with one of our Orlando title insurance and real estate closing professionals today!