FORT MYERS – Former Lee County mortgage broker Thomas Errico has been charged with fraud for his role in a mortgage loan modification and investment fraud that authorities say exceeded $1 million nationwide.
Errico was arrested June 10 on charges of communications fraud, according to a statement from the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office helped the OFR with the investigation, release states, and the Fort Myers Police Department is credited with the arrest.
Authorities allege that Errico told his victims that he could “find fraud” in his mortgage loans, which would allow him to demand modifications or cancellation of loans from credit institutions. He also promised victims that if he couldn’t uncover the fraud in the mortgage loan documents, he would refund all fees, the statement said.
“However, based on the OFR investigation, it is alleged that Errico did not obtain any mortgage loan modifications or issue any repayments to his victims,” the statement said. “The investigation also revealed that neither Errico, nor the companies he allegedly operated through, were licensed to negotiate the terms of the mortgage loans.”
An alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, Carlo Hamrahi, aka Roberto Colleoni, was arrested in California and extradited to Florida in 2020 on a warrant issued in Lee County. Hamrahi was accused of involvement in an organized fraud scheme. In a statement announcing the arrest, authorities said the investigation had revealed “massive mortgage fraud targeting dozens of seniors”.
As for Errico, authorities also allege in another scam that he promised he would double the victim’s investment in six months, buying land or condominiums at below-market prices and selling them quickly at a profit. He also allegedly sold another victim a high-yield promissory note, authorities claim, claiming that the returns would be paid upon closing a real estate deal within six months. “The investigation revealed that none of these representations were true and that Errico allegedly used the victims’ investments to pay personal expenses,” the statement said.
“I am proud of my State Attorney and the Office of Financial Regulation for their work in bringing this criminal to justice,” Attorney General Ashley Moody said in the statement. “I will continue to fight for the people of Florida and use all available resources to protect our citizens from fraudsters who seek to manipulate and deceive others.”