Miami attorney Orlando Delgado faces disciplinary proceedings for alleged mortgage fraud, according to a Florida Bar complaint filed against him.
Delgado is a real estate attorney who’s been practicing law in Florida since 1996. But the Florida Bar claims he forged a signature or knowingly submitted fraudulent real estate documents that sold his ex-wife’s property through a short sale to a shell company he owned.
Short sales trade distressed real estate for less than the borrower owes, with the lender agreeing to accept the lower amount. Perhaps because of that inherent financial loss, the complaint alleges the unnamed lender on the Delgado deal required the “sale to be at arm’s-length and not to a person of interest.”
But the bar claims Delgado had an undisclosed stake in the transaction.
He “essentially bought back the property from his ex-wife through a shell corporation that respondent established,” according to the bar complaint filed Friday. “As part of the short sale transaction, respondent either forged a signature upon a closing affidavit that was false or respondent knew that a false closing affidavit had been submitted to consummate the transaction.”
Delgado did not respond to requests for comment by deadline, and no attorney has entered an appearance on his behalf. The complaint is the latest action in the ethics investigation against him.
On Jan. 18, the bar issued a grievance committee finding of noncompliance, alleging the attorney failed to respond to official inquiries last October and November. Delgado was found in contempt, and the bar asked the Florida Supreme Court to suspend him.
The high court granted the request Feb. 23, suspended Delgado for 30 days and ordered him to pay the bar $1,250 in court costs.
Delgado’s bar file shows he remains ineligible to practice law in Florida.
The newly filed complaint alleges Delgado violated three bar rules prohibiting behavior that is “unlawful or contrary to honesty and justice,” preventing “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation” and requiring lawyers to respond to official bar and disciplinary inquiries.
Chief Justice Jorge Labarga assigned Miami-Dade Chief Circuit Judge Bertila Soto to appoint a referee to oversee the disciplinary proceedings, and make findings of fact and recommendations to the Supreme Court.
Read the Florida Bar complaint: