Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Ramirez: Affirming Conviction and Sentence for mortgage fraud

In U.S. v. Rodriguez, No. 10-12065 (May 15, 2015), the Court affirmed the conviction and sentence of a defendant convicted of mortgage fraud. The Court rejected the argument that Rodriguez was not competent when she pled guilty. The Court cited the plea colloquy which showed Rodriguez’ competency to understand her plea. Turning to sentencing issues, the Court rejected the argument that, on plain error review, that Rodriguez should not have been subject to an enhancement for an offense involving 10 or more victims, since only seven victims were entitled to restitution. The Court pointed out that the number of victims is not determined based on restitution. The Court also rejected the argument that Rodriguez was entitled to a minor role sentence reduction. The evidence demonstrated that Rodriguez “performed an essential role in the mortgage fraud scheme.” Turning to restitution, the Court found that Rodriguez herself was partly to blame for the delay in the district court’s entry of a restitution order, and could not, in any event, complain of the delay. The Court affirmed the district court’s calculation of the restitution amount.