Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Carmel on the Case: Bad Business?
More than a quarter of a million dollars vanished in an investment deal that went south here in South Florida. Was it bad business or was it funny business? Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case with this exclusive report.
WSVN -- Carmel Cafiero: "I'd like to talk with you about the civil theft lawsuit that is pending against you."
Ayda Young: "I have nothing to say, call my attorney."
Forty-seven-year-old Ayda Young didn't know it then, but she was just days away from being hit with a big judgment for her part in a questionable real estate deal.
Morella Sosa, Investor: "I thought it was a good investment at that time."
Morella Sosa, who talked with us from her home in South America, says she thought young represented Miami-Dade County.
Morella Sosa: "Yes. I always believed I was doing business with Miami-Dade County."
That's because Ayda Young did business through a company called Miami-Dade County short sales. Sosa says she wanted to buy two foreclosed properties in South Florida, so she sent young two checks, one for $250,000 and another for $81,000.
Frank Hollander, Attorney: "This was her life savings."
Attorney Frank Hollander says Sosa got nothing for her money. He filed a lawsuit against young claiming fraud and civil theft.
Carmel Cafiero: "Did she claim to be representing Miami-Dade County?"
Frank Hollander: "She had documents that said Miami-Dade County and she signed documents that she represented the court as well in terms of the foreclosure auction by the County."
Part of the evidence, this hand written note signed by Ayda Young last September. In it she promised to pay back the $330,000 in ten days.
Morella Sosa: "I did not get anything except health pains and sickness."
Ayda Young: "I have nothing to say, there is no civil suit against me. That's totally not true."
When I tried to talk with her, Young denied the lawsuit even existed.
Ayda Young: "Leave me alone."
Carmel Cafiero: "You told this lady you would pay her her $330,000 back. Why haven't you paid her?"
Judge Ellen Sue Venzer found Young at fault in the case. She asked if Hollander knew what happened to the money.
Frank Hollander: "We only know that from our information the money went to Mexico, but we don't know exactly how it went there."
And the judge questioned Ayda Young's attorney about the possibility of a criminal case.
Judge Ellen Sue Venzer: "Is there a criminal proceeding?"
Israel Encinosa: "There is no criminal proceeding, but apparently there is a criminal investigation."
Judge Ellen Sue Venzer: "I would think so."
Israel Encinosa: "Plus if Mrs. Carmel Cafiero is on the case you are going to see that police is not far behind."
After damages and costs Ayda Young now owes Morella Sosa $1,228,329.10. She admits collecting could be a challenge.
Frank Hollander: "We know that she's driving around in a Mercedes, so we feel she does have assets."
Carmel Cafiero: "Earlier an associate of Young's who was also involved in the business had a judgment entered against her in the same deal also for more than a million dollars."
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