Real Estate Developer Marek Harrison Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud

(STL.News) – Marek Harrison (56, Plant City) has pleaded guilty to bank fraud.  He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison.  A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the plea agreement, between September 2007 and December 2008, Harrison created and executed a mortgage fraud scheme involving Saratoga Resort Villas, a condominium conversion of a former hotel located in Kissimmee.  Harrison’s scheme to defraud financial institutions involved kickbacks of mortgage proceeds to buyers and co-conspirators, as well as misrepresentations regarding the source of down payment funds for the transactions.  None of the incentives and kickbacks were disclosed to the mortgage lenders.  Harrison also recruited otherwise unqualified buyers, and provided down payment money for the buyers.

This case was investigated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General.  It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.