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2012 Financial Crimes Conference - Speaker information


Morning Keynote Session – U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill
8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Topic: U.S. Attorney O’Neill will give an overview and specific examples of the types of financial crimes which could be related to real estate transactions, including escrow fraud and flipping fraud. The U.S. Attorney will also discuss red flags for fraudulent financial transactions which might enable real estate professionals to proactively identify fraud and report it to the proper authorities.

Speaker Bio: Robert O’Neill became the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida in 2010. A native of the Bronx, New York, he has been a resident of Florida for over 20 years and has served as a criminal prosecutor throughout most of his professional career. In addition to his experience as the U.S. Attorney, he has served in numerous other leadership positions including First Assistant United States Attorney, Chief of the Criminal Division and Chief of the Special Prosecutions Section. Mr. O’Neill also served the U.S. Department of Justice as the Deputy Chief in Charge of the Litigation, Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Section, and the Office of Independent Counsel as an Associate Independent Counsel.

Early in his career as a prosecutor, he served as an Assistant District Attorney at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Florida. He also practiced as a trial lawyer at the New York law firm of Kramer, Dillof, Tessel, Duffy & Moore.

Morning Case Presentation – DBPR Attorneys Patrick Cunningham, Jennifer Blakeman and Allison McDonald
10:15 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

Topic: DBPR attorneys will discuss several disciplinary cases involving mortgage fraud issues and the involvement of real estate professionals. They will also discuss how the Department handles mortgage fraud allegations and the different challenges that can arise.

Speaker Bios: Mr. Cunningham attended undergraduate school at Florida State University and then Stetson University College of Law. He worked as an attorney for the Florida Department of Children and Families before entering private practice. Mr. Cunningham did criminal defense, dependency defense, divorce and adoptions. Mr. Cunningham prosecuted cases against real estate brokers, sales associate and appraisers before becoming the Chief Attorney for the Division of Real Estate in 2011.

Ms. Blakeman has served with the Office of General Counsel (OGC), Division of Real Estate, for the past three years and has handled hundreds of disciplinary cases, including cases dealing with mortgage fraud issues. Prior to her time with OGC, Ms. Blakeman spent several years in private practice and also served at the Public Defender’s Office and the Capital Collateral Resource Counsel, where she handled death-row appeals.

Mrs. McDonald attended and graduated from the University of Florida and then Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad Law Center, where she was technical editor for the Law Review and where she graduated cum laude. After law school, she spent the first 10 years of her legal practice as in house counsel for a conglomerate of insurance companies defending automobile personal injury cases and slip and fall/premises liability cases. As defense counsel, she also prepared legal opinions, presented adjuster seminars and conducted examinations under oath for policy disputes. She has been with the Office of the General Counsel working with the Division of Real Estate for three years. As a Senior Attorney, she prosecutes mostly appraisal license law violations. Mrs. McDonald continues to work with the Office of the General Counsel as the Deputy Chief Attorney for the Division of Real Estate.


Afternoon Case Presentation – Fernando Ramos, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Topic: Special Agent Ramos will discuss typical mortgage fraud scenarios that HUD encounters and will present the federal statutes used to combat this fraud, as well as the other administrative actions available to law enforcement. He will also provide specific case examples and red flags that would indicate mortgage fraud may be occurring in a real estate transaction.

Speaker Bio: Special Agent Ramos has day-to-day oversight of the numerous Federal and State criminal investigations related to mortgage fraud, public corruption, public assistance fraud and multi-family equity skimming being worked by the Special Agents assigned to the respective offices. Prior assignments include service with the HUD-OIG headquarters Criminal Investigations Division and as the Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Field Office that was created in response to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster.

Afternoon Keynote Session – Edward Page, Carlton Fields
2:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Topic: Offering insights from a criminal defense perspective, Mr. Page will discuss real federal criminal cases from Florida involving the prosecution of real estate agents and appraisers.

Speaker Bio: Edward J. Page is a shareholder in Carlton Fields, P.A.’s Tampa office. Mr. Page’s practice focuses on white collar criminal defense, including healthcare fraud, False Claims Act defense, and the defense of professionals, including doctors, lawyers, accountants, real estate professionals, pharmacists, and others. Mr. Page started his legal career in 1981 at the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office, as an Assistant State Attorney, where he tried numerous jury trials (+100) to verdict. In 1990, Mr. Page joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tampa as a federal prosecutor. In 1995, Mr. Page joined the Office of the Independent Counsel David M. Barrett in Washington, DC in In Re: Henry G. Cisneros, in the investigation of Secretary Cisneros, the Secretary of HUD. In 1998, Mr. Page joined the Office of the Independent Counsel Kenneth W. Starr in the “Whitewater Investigation” where he had a variety of roles in the investigation of President Clinton in the Lewinsky matter, the White House Travel Office firings, FBI Filegate, and several other related matters. In 2000, Mr. Page left government service and joined Carlton Fields, P.A. in its Tampa office.

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