Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Carmel on the Case: Followup on con man investigation
There's a warrant out tonight for the arrest of a South Florida man first exposed in a Seven News investigation. Carmel Cafiero is back on the case with even more accusations against him.
WSVN -- Judge Lee Seidman: "Carlos Casa Valencia. Is that you?"
It was July when Carlos Casa Valencia showed up in a Broward courtroom to face charges he wrote six worthless checks. As often happens, the case was re-set for hearings a few weeks later.
Judge Lee Seidman: "All right, he has to be present for both of those."
Alberto Milian: "Yes, your honor. Thank you, your honor."
Judge Lee Seidman: "Thank you, both, appreciate it."
But when the next court date rolled around, Casa Valencia was a no show.
Alberto Milian: "I have no information to indicate anything other than he's not showing up."
So Judge Lee Seidman issued a warrant for Casa Valencia's arrest. If he's picked up, he will be held without bond.
Carmel Cafiero: "How much money did you lose?"
As we first reported, this woman who asked that she not be identified along with Dennis Reily and Gio Diaz all say Casa Valenica tricked them out of money by promising big returns on investments.
Gio Diaz: "Ah, $50,000."
Carmel Cafiero. "Dennis, how much did you lose?"
Dennis Reily: "$70,000"
And now there are more.
Ruth: "He started at first like he was in love with me, and so he wanted to help me, and so he wanted to take care of me."
Ruth asks that we only use her first name. She says Casa Valenica convinced her to give him $47,000 from her home equity line of credit.
Ruth: "He was going to help me out how to invest my money."
Instead she says he and her money vanished.
Ruth: "And I working two jobs, and he knew about it, but I guess he didn't care."
These men say Casa Valencia told them he could help them become legal residents.
Illegal resident: I paid this guy $4,500 in cash, and he was supposed to give me my green card."
Illegal resident: "I paid him $8,000 in cash and he was supposed to give me a pass for worker's employment and a green card, and I got nothing."
Since they are not legal residents they have asked we not use their names. Both men say Casa Valencia did the same to others who are too afraid to come forward.
Illegal immigrant: "He was basically driving all over the county collecting money from different people for this issue."
And they say Casa Valenica appeared to be able to access their immigration files.
Illegal immigrant: "In 10 minutes he knows all of my background information. He knows the name of my wife. He knows how many interviews I have with immigration."
Carmel Cafiero: "Authorities continue to investigate Casa Valencia's activities, but the people who have lost money to him are hoping he hasn't left the country. They say they'd like to see him brought to justice.
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