Volume 4 Number 31
August 3, 2007

 CFO SINK ANNOUNCES THREE FAMILY MEMBERS, BROKER CHARGED IN SOUTH FLORIDA MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

Three members of a family, all working for the same Tamarac financial company, and a real estate broker are facing charges of orchestrating a loan fraud scheme that led them to pocket $100,000 by inflating the sale price of a home on application documents.

Sylvester Cuffy, 58, his son Johnson Cuffy, 30, and his daughter Lillia Cuffy, 35, were arrested last week on charges of grand theft and scheme to defraud and were booked into the Broward County Jail. In addition, Jason Donn, 36, a real estate broker who transacted the mortgage loan closing, is facing the same charges. The arrests are the result of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud. John Swope was the Division’s lead detective.

“Fraud – whether it’s insurance fraud or mortgage fraud – hurts Floridians and our economy by artificially driving up costs that are passed on to all consumers,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the department. “We will protect our citizens by rooting out these costly crimes and holding those involved accountable.”

All three of the Cuffys were employed at the BlueKap Financial Group, located at 7901 W. McNab Rd. in Tamarac, and allegedly submitted a fraudulent loan application to a California-based financial institution. Admissions obtained by the case detective determined that they bought a home for $240,000 on December 30, 2005, but a loan
and title insurance were obtained for the appraised amount of $340,000. Investigators said a straw buyer showed up at the closing and submitted his credit history for the property but never occupied the property. The $100,000 difference in the loan amount and the sale price was divided among the Cuffys, investigators said. The loan on the home has since gone into foreclosure. Additional arrests are anticipated.

The Department of Financial Services, Division of Insurance Fraud, investigates various forms of fraud in insurance, including health, life, auto, property and workers' compensation insurance. Anyone with information about this case or any other suspected fraud case is asked to call the department's Fraud Fighters Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. A reward of up to $25,000 may be offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.