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'Mastermind' of Hawaii's largest mortgage fraud scheme pleads guilty

By Nelson Daranciang

LAST UPDATED: 7:52 p.m. HST, Jun 12, 2012


The woman who the government says is the mastermind of the largest mortgage fraud scheme uncovered in Hawaii pleaded guilty today in federal court.

Estrellita "Esther" Garo Miguel pleaded guilty in U.S. District court to wire fraud, making false statements on loan applications, money laundering and conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud.

She faces maximum prison terms of 30 years for the wire fraud and false statement charges, 10 years for the money laundering and five years for conspiracy. Sentencing is scheduled for October.

Miguel is one of 14 people charged in two August 2010 indictments accusing them of participating and profiting from the scheme from 2003 to 2008.

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