FORT MYERS — After two days of arguments and testimony, a federal judge on Monday is expected to decide the fate of a North Naples real estate flipper convicted of wire and tax fraud involving $3.3 million in Southwest Florida real estate deals.
U.S. District Judge John Steele will issue an order on the sentencing range he's considering for Alfredo J. Sararo, 42, a local tennis pro, and the defense and prosecutor will present final arguments before he's sentenced for defrauding 14 victims, including two Pennsylvania judges and businessmen.
The defense is seeking house arrest and probation, while the prosecutor is asking for about 22 to 27 years in federal prison.
"The defendant, to put it bluntly, is a con man with no verified employment who is determined to live a lifestyle far beyond his means," Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Conway of Pittsburgh argued in a sentencing motion.
In August, a federal jury found Sararo guilty of five counts of wire fraud involving phone calls and faxes detailing land deals in Naples, Port Charlotte and Cape Coral, and four counts of tax fraud for not reporting that income.
Evidence included fake deeds, forged signatures, bogus sales agreements and loan applications from 2004 to 2007, when Florida's booming real estate market collapsed. Sararo is accused of pocketing millions to pay for his lavish lifestyle, which included traveling, a $1.4 million home in The Dunes, a Ferrari, a Jaguar and a Maserati.
Robert Horgos, a Pennsylvania judge, retired during an FBI investigation into investor, wire, tax and mortgage fraud, but was among several unindicted co-conspirators who received immunity, including a Naples mortgage broker and two Naples notaries.
Conway presented additional evidence showing Sararo was investigated seven times in Collier and Lee counties for other fraudulent activities, arrested twice and convicted once; was a target of a Texas grand jury probe; deceived a Naples lawyer and his wife who lost at least $150,000 in three land deals and a Texas lawyer who lost $299,000 in two more; and Sararo and his brother received more than $5 million in fraudulent loans.
Miami defense attorney Robert Rosenblatt argued Sararo is remorseful, blamed Horgos for the bad land deals and luring investors, and contended other witnesses lied and committed fraud, but weren't charged.
If it weren't for the economy, he said, the victims would have been satisfied.