Three defendants involved in mortgage fraud plead guilty

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi announced that three defendants pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering for mortgage fraud related crimes. Craig Hudson, 40, Lynne Hudson, 35, and Eric Rivero, 39, all residents of Tampa, will be sentenced at a later date for the mortgage fraud scam that involved more than 50 fraudulent mortgages totaling $8.8 million. Craig Hudson faces a maximum sentence of 12 years prison and Lynne Hudson and Eric Rivero each face a maximum sentence of 4 ½ years prison. As part of their plea agreements, the Hudson’s and Rivero will cooperate with authorities in the cases pending against their co-defendants William Bolton and Stephanie Bolton.

“Mortgage fraud directly affects the lending industry and exacerbates Florida's housing market crisis,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “This case exemplifies our commitment to working together with state and local agencies to stop mortgage fraud in our state,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The subjects were part of a group that prepared and submitted fraudulent residential mortgage loan applications and associated documents to residential mortgage loan lenders. Ultimately, the lenders approved the residential loan applications and funded mortgage loan applications totaling approximately $8.8 million. Many of the fraudulent loans involved were the personal loans of the defendants. Of the 33 properties involved,
22 were the subject of foreclosure proceedings which resulted in over $4.2 million in final judgments.
“FDLE will continue to investigate and arrest criminals who prey on Floridians and profit from crimes,” said Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “I’d like to thank General Bondi for her leadership in prosecuting these crimes.”
"The most recent guilty pleas confirm the strength of this particular case,” stated Kevin Jackson, Chief investigator for the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency. “The collaboration and hard work of this small investigative team over the years has resulted in amazing success targeting these abusive mortgage practices."
The mortgage fraud scheme spanned seven counties and centered around First Mutual Mortgage, a Tampa-based mortgage company formed by co-defendant David Barile. Craig Hudson was identified as the former office manager and mortgage broker of First Mutual Mortgage while his wife Lynne was identified as the former director of marketing for Suncoast Title of Tampa.
Eric Rivero was identified as a former employee and loan officer of First Mutual Mortgage.
Their guilty pleas were the result of a joint effort on the part of the Attorney General’s Office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the Hillsborough County Consumer Protection Agency.
The Hudson’s and Rivero pleaded guilty today in Pinellas County in front of Circuit Court Judge Keith Meyer. Co-defendants David and Melissa Barile have previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.