A Florida title attorney has been sentenced to 33 months in jail for her participation in a mortgage fraud scheme.
Kimberly S. Daise, of Miami, Florida pled guilty in January of this year to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in connection with her role in the scheme. Daise was suspended from the Florida Bar in March.
The scheme, carried out in 2006, used straw buyers to induce banks to approve $2.7 million in mortgage loans secured by upscale homes in Wellington, Florida on which the purported value had been artificially inflated. The conspiracy members had no intention of ever paying back the money; their intent was to pocket as much of the loan proceeds as possible. Conspiracy members made only a couple payments before they defaulted on the loans.
Daise participated in the scheme by submitting false documentation to mortgage lenders, and by closing the transactions, using two sets of HUD-1 Settlement Statements in order to hide the fraudulent nature of the transactions from the lenders and the sellers. The difference between the real price and the inflated price was either made to appear as if it were a debt owed to business entities controlled by the defendant and her co-conspirators, or was made to appear as profits to the sellers.
After the closing, Daise distributed the "profits" of the scheme to herself and other members of the scheme, sometimes using sham companies under the control of the conspiracy members. According to prosecutors, the "profits" from the scheme amounted to approximately $533,000.