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An assistant Miami fire chief who is on paid administrative leave while she awaits trial on federal mortgage fraud charges wants to get away for a while. The Straw Buyer reports the lawyer representing Veldora Arthur, who is paid $184,336 annually to oversee the fire department's payroll, wants to travel to Freeport, Bahamas, from April 21 to April 24 and then to Charlotte, North Carolina, from May 26 to May 31.
Arthur has pleaded not guilty to the charges of wire and mail fraud in an alleged $10 million mortgage fraud scheme involving several units in an Aventura condo building.
The department's first black female firefighter was indicted this past February 3. Prosecutors allege Arthur and three other individuals allowed a man named Neil Fagan to use their identities and credit to fraudulently obtain mortgages to buy six condos at 3370 NE 190th St.. The closing agent, who was also indicted, funneled the loan proceeds to Fagan, who then allegedly paid kickbacks to Arthur and the three other fake buyers. Through her attorney, Arthur has denied any criminal wrongdoing.