A drive southeast from Fort Myers to the other side of Florida will bring you to Hollywood. That is the home of a man and woman charged recently with bank fraud and other white collar crimes.
Officials say the man, 64, and woman, 51, forged documents as part of a scheme to claim ownership of distressed properties. They are accused of filing false and forged documents that showed the properties in foreclosure had been transferred to New York corporations they controlled.
The properties worth a total of $17 million are in New York and Florida, officials said.
The Hollywood residents are charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. They're also accused of making false statements to the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
The woman reportedly signed transfer documents on behalf of the corporations the pair controlled and the man, who is a notary, apparently notarized the documents as authentic. According to a news report, the pair later had a tenant of a Hollywood home evicted and had the locks on the property changed.
They are also accused of using faked documents to get a Hallandale Beach couple to sign a lease and give them a cash deposit on a property there.
The Hollywood man and woman each face the potential of years in prison, if convicted. For them and for others accused of white collar crimes, it is imperative to have on their side an attorney experienced in fraud defense, forensic investitgation, negotiations and litigation.