An Austrian architect has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison after authorities say he pocketed millions from a mortgage fraud scheme involving several million-dollar Miami properties.
A federal judge sentenced Robert Policastro, 57, of Vienna, Austria, to five years and three months in federal prison last week on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and mortgage fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa.
Policastro had pleaded guilty to taking out loans to buy several Miami properties valued in the millions, meanwhile obtaining a ”silent second” loan on each property using a second lender. He then prepared false loan documents he presented to both the primary lenders and the “silent second” lenders, so that both were unaware he had received two loans on each property, a U.S. Attorney’s press release states.
“The ‘silent seconds’ loans financed Policastro’s down payments for the properties and allowed him secretly to take money out of the deals,” according to the release.
In addition to his prison sentence, a judge entered a judgement for $9 million against Policastro, which is based on ”proceeds of the mortgage fraud conspiracy,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by the Tampa U.S. Attorney’s Office because the loans were closed in Pinellas County.