Jury seated for Daytona-area mortgage fraud trial at U.S. District Court in Orlando

Openings delayed until Tuesday due to family death on government team

Jim Sotolongo and Ramara Garrett / Headline Surfer®Photo for Headline Surfer® / Ramara Garrett and Jim Sotolongo, along with Stephanie Musselwhite (not pictured here), will stand trial in U.S. District Court Tuesday in Orlando on mortgage fraud charges. The three have pleaded innocent to charges.
 

ORLANDO -- A jury has been seated for the federal trial that begins Tuesday with opening statements by the government and defense attorneys in the Daytona Beach area mortgage fraud case against Jim Sotolongo, Ramara Garrett and Stephanie Musselwhite.

The trial was supposed to begin after the lunch break today, but the judge announced opening statements would begin Tuesday morning after the court was informed a member of lead prosecutor on Tanya Wilson's team had a sudden death in the family.

The trial is expected to last eight to 10 days with the government alleging that several banks and lending institutions were defrauded in more than half a dozen home purchases with inflated mortgages while the three defendants who have pleaded innocent counter the losses were due in part to lax regulations and the bursting of the housing bubble that exacerbated the situation.

Headline Surfer® will have an updated story overnight.

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.