Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Oldsmar man sentenced to prison for mortgage fraud in Tampa townhouse project

TAMPA — An Oldsmar businessman has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for mortgage fraud conspiracy.

Richard Cartagena, 44, who pleaded guilty in March, faced up to three years in prison for his role in the conspiracy that involved La Encantada Villas, a project with seven townhouses in historic Hyde Park.

Cartagena "attempted to correct his mistakes by being completely forthcoming with law enforcement" and helped authorities investigate others, according to a motion requesting a more lenient sentence.

Cartagena was managing member of La Encantada Villas LLC. From May 2007 through July 2008, he conspired with others to commit fraud in transactions involving at least four of the townhouses on Watrous Avenue, according to a plea agreement. He made more than $1 million, records show.

The townhomes were sold at prices from $600,000 to $900,000 and have since been foreclosed on, according to the U.S. Attorney. Misrepresentations and fraud with two of Cartagena's former homes in Oldsmar and Clearwater also were part of the conspiracy.

On March 5, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday sentenced Neil Ferrigno of Tampa, the minority partner in the development, to eight months in prison for conspiring to commit mortgage fraud. Two purchasers of townhomes were also sentenced.

The court ordered Cartagena and other defendants to pay $2.5 million in restitution to lenders.

Cartagena, who has lived in Tampa Bay for more than 20 years, founded the Palm Harbor telecommunications firm Nexxtworks Inc. He is also a business partner in the USA Flea Market in New Port Richey and served on the board of Tampa Bay Harvest, a nonprofit that gathers and distributes food to the needy.

Oldsmar man sentenced to prison for mortgage fraud in Tampa townhouse project 06/05/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 5, 2012 11:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.