Thursday, July 26, 2012

Suspended S. Florida Mayor Accused Of Duping Unwitting Bankster Into Approving Short Sale By Getting Relative To Pretend To Buy His Underwater Condo

In Boynton Beach, Florida, The Palm Beach Post reports:

  • Suspended Mayor Jose Rodriguez — already facing corruption charges that led to his suspension from office — has been hit with three new felonies alleging he defrauded a bank by short selling a Palm Beach condominium to a relative.

    He also allegedly falsified an affidavit in October saying the condo had been his primary residence for four years, even though he was renting it out at the time and living miles away at his Boynton Beach home, and had been mayor for nearly 18 months.
  • According to a probable cause affidavit released Monday, Rodriguez had applied on Oct. 10, 2009, to Chase Bank for a loan modification, saying he had only $2,000 in the bank. Investigators later determined that he had more than $250,000 in an American Express Bank account.

    The bank declined the modification, saying Rodriguez didn’t qualify. Less than a year later, on Aug. 27, 2010, foreclosure proceedings began.

    Then, in August, an attorney for Rodriguez asked JP Morgan Chase Bank to approve a short sale for $74,000 in cash to Eric Molares of Royal Palm Beach. Prosecutors don’t detail Molares’ relationship to Rodriguez. The bank agreed and the deal was struck Oct. 18.

    Rodriguez and Molares each signed anaffidavit of arm’s length transaction,” in which Rodriguez said he was neither a relative nor business associate of Molares and they shared no business interests.

    Investigators later discovered that on Sept. 8 Rodrigu­ez deposited $75,000 in one of his accounts, then wrote a check for $74,000 to Molares. Molares then gave a cashier’s check to cover the short sale. Molares told investigators Thursday that Rodriguez gave him $75,000 to pretend to buy the unit.

    The condo’s tenant later told investigators she’d received an email pur­portedly sent from Molares, saying he was the new owner and landlord, telling her Rodriguez would be managing the property and directing her where to send the $950-a-month rent.

    Molares told investigators he did not give Rodriguez permission to create an email account impersonating him. He said Rod­riguez later admitted creating a bank account for the rent.

No comments: