Wednesday, December 29, 2004
Carmel on the Case: Tangled Update
Seven news has learned burglars have targeted a mansion that is in the middle of a major fraud investigation. It's a story we first brought you and it involves a former NFL football star. Now investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is "On the Case" with the latest developments.
WSVN-- A broken lock on the gate was the first indication of trouble at this plantation acres house.
State investigator Robert Crespo says the property is at the heart of a case that involves everything from identity theft to mortgage fraud. And it has now been broken into twice.
Carmel: Wow, beautiful home."
This was once the home of Brett Perriman and his family.
Perriman's a local football star who played for UM and the Miami Dolphins.
The property, valued at about a million dollars, was purchased from Perriman in the name of Selma Mikula, an hourly worker from Hollywood.
Selma Mikula: "I said what? I said you must be kidding."
She says her identity was used by someone who forged her name.
When Crespo first came to the house, he found this woman - Carole Fritz - inside.
RobertCrespo/State Investigator: "We believe that she was living in this house."
He says it appears Fritz was conducting a mortgage broker business from the home office. Although she is not licensed.
Robert: "But basically we're looking at a much bigger picture indicates a very well organized scheme to defraud and obviously she is part of it."
Carmel Cafiero: "As it Brett Perriman?"
Robert Crespo:"Yes. At this time everybody really tied to this house is subject of our investigation."
Carmel: "Channel 7, I'd like to talk with you about Selma Mikula and problems with the property in plantation."
Brett Perriman didn't want to talk when I surprised him last month. And neither did Carole Fritz who told me by phone that she is a victim.
Brett Perriman:"You see this was the initial break in and it got boarded up."
It appears someone tied to this house had reason to return after the state locked it up.
The first time around, back in October, this door was broken out and as far as authorities can tell - women's clothing is all that was missing.
But the second break in, just recently was interrupted when Crespo came to check on the property. He found another glass door broken and the stairs to the attic pulled down.There's no telling what someone risked arrest to get their hands on.
Robert: "We're a hundred percent sure that this property is tied to a very well organized mortgage scheme."
The state expects its investigation of all this to conclude sometime after the New Year. And the state says it expects criminal charges and criminal arrests will follow.
For more information, or if you have a story for Carmel:
Call her in Dade at 305-627-CLUE
Or In Broward at 954-921-CLUE