13 August – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Paul I. Perez, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announced today that a federal grand jury sitting in Tampa, Florida, has returned a twenty-one count indictment charging four persons with participating in an extensive land flip scheme involving residential properties located in Manatee and Sarasota Counties.
Named in each of the twenty-one counts are Kelly Abercrombie, age 41, her
husband, Todd Kerber, age 40, Mary Bolan, age 45, and Taya Parodo, age 39.
Abercrombie, Kerber and Parodo are residents of Sarasota Florida. Bolan is a resident of Bradenton, Florida.
The indictment charges each defendant with conspiracy to commit mail and wire
fraud, as well as multiple counts of mail and wire fraud. If convicted, each charge carries a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000.
The indictment alleges that each of the four defendants, along with Todd Kolbe, Kirk
McVey, Aaron Kolbe and Amy Samelson, participated in a scheme to defraud Home Star
Mortgage, L.L.C., a New Jersey based mortgage lender which made, bought, and sold
residential loans/mortgages, by “flipping” thirty residential properties located in Bradenton, Osprey and Sarasota, Florida.
The indictment alleges that companies owned and controlled by Todd Kolbe and
Kelly Abercrombie purchased the residential properties at or near their fair market value and immediately “flipped” or resold the properties to “straw purchasers” for prices substantially higher than the original purchase price. The “straw purchasers” applied for mortgage loans in amounts substantially higher than the value of the properties.
The indictment alleges that false property appraisals and other false documents were submitted to HomeStar during the loan application process. The indictment alleges that McVey, Aaron Kolbe, Samelson and Kerber acted as the “straw purchasers” and that Taya Parodo, who owns Team Title Services, Inc., acted as the closing agent in connection with both the original sales and the resales of the “flipped” properties. The indictment alleges that Mary Bolan, who is a licensed real estate broker, was involved in both the sales and resales of the “flipped” properties as a managing partner of one of the companies owned and controlled by Todd Kolbe and Kelly Abercrombie.
Todd Kolbe, Kirk McVey and Amy Samelson have all entered into written plea
agreements with the government in which they have agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection to the land flip scheme. The government, as part of its plea agreement with Samelson, has agreed not to charge her husband Aaron Kolbe. Todd Kolbe, McVey and Samelson are cooperating with the government.
The case is being investigated by the Sarasota Office of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dennis
I. Moore. An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.