Tampa resident Michelle Carducci, 37, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and making false statements to a federal agency. She faces up to five years in federal prison.
Prosecutors say Carducci conspired with a real estate agent and a Pinellas County, Fla., developer in the scam. The real estate agent recruited buyers to purchase houses being “flipped” by the developer using any of several companies. Prosecutors say the buyers were told the deals would require no money from them. However, the developer was in reality providing closing funds to otherwise unqualified buyers, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say Carducci helped hide this fact by submitting fraudulent loan documents with falsely inflated the buyers’ assets. Prosecutors estimate that Carducci’s role in the scheme cost lenders between $400,000 and $1 million between 2005 and 2006.
A sentencing date has not yet been set.
A Florida mortgage broker has pleaded guilty in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.