Former Bradenton pastor faces up to 90-year jail term

A pastor who used to preach at a special Portuguese language service in Bradenton church has been convicted of mortgage fraud and could spend 90 years in jail.

A federal jury recently found Nelson Cristiano Machado Jr., 50, guilty of three counts of wire fraud related to a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders concerning property in Lee County, U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III announced Monday.

Machado preached at the Portuguese service at the First Assembly of God Church in Bradenton a few nights a week in 2009-2010 before moving to Brazil, according to a United States District Court-Middle District of Florida document. In a news release announcing the conviction, Bentley, who represents the Middle District of Florida, indicated that Machado faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison on each count.

Machado’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 26.

Machado entered into a sale contract for the purchase of two residences in Cape Coral, one for $509,900, and another for $249,900, the release states. In his loan applications, Machado falsely represented his employment, the balance of his bank account, and that each of the homes would be his primary residence, according to the news release.

Machado also failed to disclose to his second mortgage lender that he had already obtained a first mortgage in the amount of $343,000 and second mortgage in the amount of $147,000, the release states. Machado also failed to disclose the purchase of another residence in Fort Myers for which he had obtained a mortgage in the amount of $189,050, according to the release.

Relying upon Machado’s false representations, the mortgage lenders approved his loan applications and wired the funds to the designated title agencies for closing, the release states.

Richard Dymond: 941-745-7072, @RichardDymond