Ringleader Of Mortgage Fraud Group Pleads Guilty To Multiple Charges

~ Hillsborough County man organized scam involving fraudulent mortgage
loans and bad contractors ~

TALLAHASSEE, FL – LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Hillsborough County man pleaded guilty to multiple charges of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, mortgage fraud, and grand
theft. Scott Anthony Almeida will be sentenced to 10 years prison at a
later date for a mortgage fraud scam that victimized more than 100
individuals. As part of his plea agreement, Almeida will cooperate with
authorities in both the cases pending against his co-defendants and in
several active investigations. He is also prohibited from working in the
mortgage or title industries.

The three-year investigation began when victims filed complaints
about incomplete or substandard construction work being performed by
construction companies affiliated with Almeida. Almeida and his associates
secured mortgages for these homeowners to finance the home repair projects
by submitting fraudulent documents to Argent Mortgage Company, one of the
nation’s largest wholesale “sub-prime” mortgage companies. Investigators
followed the trail of fraudulent applications back to the organized
criminal operation which submitted nearly 130 loans to Argent which were
funded for approximately $13 million.

Almeida is one of many targets within the mortgage industry and
subprime marketplace in Florida investigated by law enforcement and the
Office of Statewide Prosecution. His guilty plea was the result of a joint
effort on the part of the Office of Statewide Prosecution, the Florida
Department of Law Enforcement, Hillsborough County Consumer Protection
Agency and the Tampa Police Department.

Almeida pled guilty today in Polk County in front of Circuit Court
Judge Neil Roddenbery. The cases against co-defendants Orson Benn, Frank
Giffone, Samuel Green, Adrienne White and Bradford Peck are still pending.

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