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Business Observer Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 1 month ago

Home renovation firm founder charged in mortgage scheme

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Obed Guzman faces several charges in case.

FORT MYERS — A Fort Myers resident has been charged in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme, where victims losses are estimated to be some $200,000.

The defendant, Obed Guzman, was charged with violating Florida’s mortgage loan and loan originator laws, communications fraud, filing false documents against real property and mortgage fraud, according to a statement from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

Guzman, authorities allege, was a principal of Migi Homes LLC, a purported real estate renovation and resale business, whose activities were funded by outside investors. In his role as manager of the business, he officials contend he obtained a mortgage loan against a property he did not own by misrepresenting himself as the property’s rightful owner, filing a false warranty deed in official county records and persuading an unsuspecting victim lender to fund a $200,000 loan against the property.

The property, a single-family home in Alva, northeast Lee County, had an estimated value of more than $300,000 at the time the mortgage loan was made, the OFR release states. Guzman allegedly obtained the fraudulent warranty deed by having the legitimate owner of the property sign it as part of what he thought was a transaction for the sale of a different property he owned in Cape Coral. The investigation, the release states, revealed that the loan proceeds were deposited into an account allegedly controlled by Guzman and used for his business and personal expenses.

“I hope this arrest serves as a warning to other criminals that if they commit fraud in Florida, they will be held accountable,” Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis says in the statement. “I appreciate the dedication of OFR, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, and the State Attorney’s Office, 20th Judicial Circuit for bringing this alleged criminal to justice.”

 

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