White-Collar Crime

Fla. Real Estate Lawyer Convicted Over Closing Documents

  • Print

A Florida attorney who worked as a title agent has been convicted by a federal jury in Fort Lauderdale of preparing real estate closing documents that helped another man defraud lenders.

Howard Gaines, 57, was convicted last week of two counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, reports the St. Petersburg Times.

He could get as much as 10 years when he is sentenced in February, according to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

“Prosecutors accused Gaines of smoothing the way for a Coral Springs man to use straw buyers and forged documents to purchase dozens of Broward County properties,” the Fort Lauderdale newspaper recounts. “That man pleaded guilty in October to fraud charges.”

Attorney Stephen Binhak, who represents Gaines, didn’t respond to a request for comment by the Times.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.