Marco man indicted by federal grand jury on mortgage fraud charges

Douglas Lee Carter faces state charges in a separate case

— A Marco Island businessman already facing state charges involving shady mortgage deals has been indicted on federal offenses accusing him of defrauding lenders, brokers and buyers out of more than $1 million.

The three-count indictment handed up to U.S. District Judge John E. Steele in Fort Myers charges Douglas Lee Carter Sr., 63, with mortgage fraud and two counts of wire fraud.

The indictment came on Wednesday, the same day Steele sentenced former Fort Myers real estate broker Samir Cabrera to 10 years in federal prison for bilking investors out of $2.5 million.

Sending a message that the government is continuing to investigate swindlers, prosecutors indicted four others besides Carter that day on charges of fraudulent loan applications, property frauds and swindles.

On Friday, a federal magistrate ordered Carter transported to the Lee County jail to be arraigned in federal court in the next few days. He posted bond in the Collier cases, but still was being held in the county jail due to the pending federal case.

His attorney in the Collier cases, Richard D. Sparkman, said he no longer represents Carter, who will be assigned a federal public defender.

The indictment says Carter posed as a lender called Unlimited Expectations LLC and asked for $54,000 up-front in March 2, 2006, from a California broker who was trying to purchase a home for another man on 102nd Avenue North in Naples Park.

He never applied for the loan, the indictment says, and used the money wired to his bank account.

Also that month, the indictment alleges, he applied for a $540,000 loan and lied on a Housing and Urban Development (HUD) statement, saying there was only a $60,000 loan on the property, although there was another for $90,000.

In September 2006, he had $572,000 wired to him from Lender’s Direct Capital Corp. in California for an alleged sale of a home on Kings Lake Boulevard in East Naples.

The indictment alleges that on the HUD statement, Carter purposely omitted that there was a $147,766.47 mortgage already on the property. After receiving the loan, the indictment says, he defaulted.

In May 2009, a Washington man wired him $24,000 and a California man wired him $30,000, which was placed in his bank account, the indictment says.

Carter is serving seven years of probation out of Georgia for interstate forgery, records show. In 2007, he was involved in several Marco Island real estate deals that led to an indictment against 31 people.

Since 1984, his land deals have led to mortgage foreclosures and judgments totaling more than $30 million. He has been sued many times, and served federal prison time from 1992 to 1996 for a marijuana dealing conviction.

Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Molloy, based in Fort Myers, said he couldn’t comment on the case.

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