Charged with two first degree felonies, Linda Kasper pled No Contest to one reduced count of Scheme to Defraud, a second-degree felony. She faces two years of probation.
Palm Coast, FL – September 12, 2014 – Well known Flagler Beach real estate agent Linda Kasper yesterday pled No Contest to a reduced charge of Scheme to Defraud, a second-degree felony. The plea closed a $9 million mortgage fraud case against her in which she and 14 other defendants had been charged with one count of racketeering (RICO) and one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering (RICO), both first-degree felonies.
If found guilty of the original charges, Kasper could have received a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine on each count. A guilty verdict on the reduced count of Scheme to Defraud could have subjected Kasper to up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. However, the plea agreement stipulates only that:
- Kasper will serve two years of probation
- Pay costs of prosecution in the amount of $1,000
- Pay costs of investigation in the amount of $1,000
- Pay court costs of $418
- Kasper must testify truthfully against co-defendants in the case
The investigation, named “Operation Fast Cash Kickback,” resulting in Kasper’s arrest was announced jointly by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE), the Florida Office of Financial Regulation, the Office of the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution, and the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office March 14, 2011. The scheme spanned Flagler, Volusia and Lake Counties, involved 23 homes (including the 18 provided by this website) and resulted in more than $9 million in losses. All 15 individuals are charged with one count of criminal racketeering and one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, both first-degree felonies.
The announcement states; “The two-year investigation, named “Operation Fast Cash Kickback,” focused on a complex scheme involving home buyers, realtors, appraisers, and mortgage brokers. Investigators allege the charged individuals artificially raised home prices, falsified appraisals, and pocketed large amounts of cash by facilitating a series of fraudulent home sales. The scam involved using “straw buyers” to purchase a home. The straw buyer’s realtor then asked the seller to raise the price of the home in order for the difference to be provided back to the straw buyer for alleged “renovations.” The appraiser would then inflate the price of the home to meet the contract sales price. At closing, a designated third party individual or shell company received the proceeds for “renovations,” which ranged from $25,000 to $320,000 for each sale. The third party recipient then returned a majority of the funds back to the straw buyer via check or wire transfer. No renovations were ever conducted on the homes and each of the properties foreclosed a short time after the sale. The estimated loss to date is approximately $9 million.”