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Realtor indicted in failed condo conversion

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  • | 1:30 p.m. March 31, 2015
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TAMPA -- A former Realtor has been indicted on mortgage fraud conspiracy and bank fraud in what federal prosecutors say was a kickback scheme involving a failed condominium conversion.

Joseph Pasquale faces up to 90 years in prison if convicted on all counts, and could be on the hook to repay undisclosed damages.

Pasquale helped sell condominium units at The Arbors at Carrollwood at 3939 Ehrlich Road, according to prosecutors, beginning in 2005 through a company he maintained called Capital Management Guarantee LLC. Pasquale and Brenden Bolger allegedly enticed buyers to purchase units by adding a clause to sales contracts that provided a design credit to upgrade each unit's amenities.

When the buyers would cancel that design credit within a 10-day period, Bolger allegedly paid a kickback for the amount of the design credit to Capital Management's bank account, without informing mortgage lenders about the cancellation. Bolger already pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme, and will be sentenced June 22. Pasquale's trial date has not yet been set.

The Pasquale indictment is the latest salvo in what has been a long-running investigation for the FBI, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Office of Inspector General involving condo sales at The Arbors. Oscar Torres pleaded guilty in 2013 to offering buyers cash bonuses funded by the mortgages either before or after closing. Torres, of Weston, owned Realty Alliance LLC and Synergy Lending Group. Another case connected to the building involves a loan officer for Apex Mortgage, Alexander Ende, who pleaded guilty in 2013 for conspiracy to commit bank fraud after he was accused of helping potentially unqualified buyers secure a mortgage by lying to lenders.


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