Leader in $50M mortgage fraud scheme sentenced to 27 years in prison

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MIAMI — The leader of a nearly $50 million mortgage fraud scheme focused on North Carolina properties has been sentenced to 27 years in prison by a Miami federal judge.

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore imposed the sentence last week on 78-year-old Domenico Rabuffo. Three other people convicted in Rabuffo's trial face sentencing on Oct. 30, and three others previously pleaded guilty and assisted federal prosecutors.

Trial evidence showed the group defrauded several banks out of lot purchase lands and building loans using fraudulent documents, straw buyers and inflated income estimates. The fraud revolved around a development known as Hampton Springs in Cashiers, North Carolina.

One defendant, a loan officer at SunTrust Bank in Miami, sponsored several fraudulent loan applications for lots in the development.

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