Bank mortgage fraud - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Bank mortgage fraud

BOCA RATON - Palm Beach Gardens attorney Joseph Miller, 63, pled guilty today to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. His sentencing is set for August 9 at 10:30 am.

From January 2006 through October 2007 Miller, along with several other people involved in the case, conspired to carry out mail and wire fraud by serving as an attorney and title agent on mortgage loans obtained by fake loan applications to several lenders such as Washington Mutual. Jason Vitulano, Robert Hofler, and Steve Vento were also charged, pled guilty, and are awaiting sentencing at which they face a maximum term of up to 30 years imprisonment.

The case against another defendant, Peter Hartofilis, is pending.

Vitulano was a branch manager at TopDot Mortgage in Boca where he and the others, including co-branch manager Hartofilis, came up the fruadulent loan application scheme. They infalted their earnings and assests on applications then Miller acted as the closer and title agent on a number of the transactions. Allegedly Miller agred to divert loan proceeds to the personal accounts of the other defendants.

Hofler was a VP at First Southern Bank in Boca Raton. Hofler falsified verification deposit forms that were used to suggest that loan applicants had large sums in their First Southern bank accounts. In trusting this and other false information on the applications lenders  approved and funded more than $5 million in mortgage loans to purchase residences in Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Hofler is scheduled for sentencing on July 27.

Defendant Steve Vento purchased two properties, each valued at the time at over $1 million, by submitting false loan applications through TopDot mortgage, through the work of Jason Vitulano.  Vento is scheduled for sentencing on July 13.

 Defendant Jason Vitulano, the TopDot Mortgage branch manager and alleged leader of the conspiracy scheme, is scheduled to be sentenced on July 19.


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