POLICE BLOTTER: From wrecks to mortgage fraud

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Miramar Beach residents injured in wreck

Two Miramar Beach residents were slightly injured in a Sunday afternoon wreck on U.S. Highway 98 near the intersection with Estates Circle in Santa Rosa County.

Allyson Sundal, who is 17, was driving the 1999 Toyota 4Runner when it left the roadway and went onto the grass median, according to the Florida Highway Patrol media release.

She overcorrected to the right, causing the vehicle to slide sideways and overturn on the highway.

She and her passenger, 42-year-old Donald Sundal, were taken to Gulf Breeze Hospital. Both were wearing seatbelts.

Allyson Sundal was cited for careless driving.

$10 million restitution ordered in mortgage fraud

More than five years after bilking victims out of their credit scores and banks out of millions of dollars, five men and women, including one from Destin, were convicted of fraud and have been ordered to pay the money back.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Smoak on Feb. 5 entered a restitution order for more than $10 million against Maurice Bates, 41, Miami; Jill Beth Newman Zuravel, 47, Boynton Beach; Alan Jay Nathan, 60, Boca Raton; Meredith Lelann King 38, Destin; and Joann V. Walter, 56, Parkland. All were convicted last year of conspiring to commit wire fraud for their role in an “equity-skim” fraud scheme.

The conspirators falsified documents to secure loans to buy 10 properties in Panama City and Panama City Beach in 2005 and 2006. All 10 properties have been foreclosed on or are in foreclosure proceedings.

“This case is a stark reminder of the lengths to which greed-motivated criminal minds will go,” U.S. Attorney Pamela Marsh said in a statement. “At a time when the economy and the real estate market were on a downward trajectory, these defendants were not afraid to make a bad situation worse. In cases driven by greed, restitution to the victims is a critical part of the penalty paid by these offenders.”

Bates, Zuravel, Nathan and King were ordered to pay $8,596,595.24. Walter was separated from the others and ordered to pay $2,409,462.38.

The guilty parties also received prison time. King, who falsified documents and routed the proceeds according to Bates or his companies, was sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Jealousy issues lead to spat between man, woman

An Alabama woman was arrested after she and her boyfriend fought over jealousy issues, according to an Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office arrest report.

On Jan. 27 a deputy went to a Harbor Boulevard location after receiving a report of the clash. There, he learned the two had been living together off and on for four months. Each accused the other of being the jealous party.

The man said the woman started the argument, both verbally and physically. The woman said all she did was push the man away from her and denied hitting him.

The man, however, and a witness, said the woman hit him in the face numerous times. He fled the scene in his car, running over some of the woman's belongings (the report didn't describe the belongings).

The man suffered a small abrasion on his face.

The woman was charged with battery and has a court date of Feb. 19.

Driver in wreck checks into hotel

A man was arrested after he apparently wrecked his truck, checked into a hotel, and had marijuana in his pocket.

On Jan. 6 an Okaloosa County Sheriff's deputy was sent to Joe's Crab Shack about a traffic crash hit and run. On the way, dispatch notified the deputy a call had come in from the front desk clerk at the Summer Place Inn who said an intoxicated man said his vehicle was wrecked behind an adjacent business. The man asked the clerk to call a wrecker and paid for a hotel room. He left his credit card and driver's license with the clerk.

The wrecker driver refused to retrieve the vehicle because it had been involved in a crash.

The clerk said she was worried about the man being injured because he was limping and covered in stickers. He would not respond to her knocks on the door.

When the deputy finally roused the man, he admitted to driving the truck. The wrecker pulled the truck out of a ditch and when the man opened the door to retrieve his registration and insurance information, the deputy could smell marijuana.

The man was detained. When he was searched, the deputy found a bag of marijuana in his pocket.

He was charged with possession of marijuana not more than 20 grams.