Alejandro Curbelo, aka Alex Curbelo, a loan officer for Great Country Mortgage Bankers in Miami, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to complicity in a mortgage scheme that cost the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) $6.5 million. Curbelo, who will be sentenced in June, may receive up to 20 years in prison on a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to charges brought in the U.S. District Court, Curbelo was involved in the sale and financing of units at two Miami condominium complexes. He admitted that he conspired with others to create and submit false and fraudulent Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage loan applications along with documents that made it appear that borrowers who were unqualified for mortgage loans due to insufficient income, high debt levels, and accounts in collection were competent borrowers. Curbelo and others also offered the borrowers cash back after closing as an incentive to purchase the units and did not disclose the payments on the on the application documents. After the loans closed the borrowers defaulted on the FHA guaranteed mortgages and which went into foreclosure. FHA had to take title to the units and reimburse the lenders.
The fraud occurred over a period from February 2006 and July 2008 and was investigated by the HUD Office of Inspector General as part of the Miami Mortgage Fraud Strike Force. Curbelo was charged with wire fraud because he paid the loan closing costs on behalf of the borrowers via interstate wire.