Carmel on the Case - Foreclosure/Fraud Arrest
Four people are facing years in prison tonight after being busted on charges. They ran a multimillion dollar real estate scam. It's a scam first exposed by 7 News investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero has the story.
WSVN -- Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle says a real estate scam that operated for two years took more than two million dollars from 15 victims.
Katherine Rundle: "And today we are announcing the arrest of four individuals who used sheer audacity, sheer audacity to rip off unsuspecting investors."
Investors who thought they were buying foreclosed and distressed properties from Miami-Dade County, but got nothing for their money.
Now facing a laundry list of felony charges: Zoraida Abreu, who could go to prison for 13 years. Yahaney Garcia is facing 11 and a half years. Johnny Bounassar, a possible 18 and a half year penalty, and Ayda Young facing as much as 21 years.
Young is no stranger to 7 News viewers.
Ayda Young: "Leave me alone."
Carmel Cafiero: "You told this lady you would pay her her $330,000 back. Why haven't you paid her?"
Last August, we first reported on Young after a grandmother in South American said Young took her for her life savings. She did so through a company called Miami-Dade County Short Sales.
Morella Sosa: "I always believed I was doing business with Miami-Dade County."
The state attorney says Young and her fellow fraudsters used that deceptive name and dummy documents to make their victims think they were doing business with Miami-Dade County.
They also falsely claimed to have someone on the inside of county government.
Christopher Mazzella: "Although it looked a little bleak in at the beginning we were happy to see that the county was not part of this scheme."
Prior to her arrest, Ayda Young lost a civil case and was ordered to pay Morella Sosa more than a million dollars but she hasn't paid a penny.
Carmel Cafiero: "So what happened to the money? Authorities aren't sure. They can't find it. They suspect the $2.4 million was either gambled away or simply squandered."