The mother of fugitive cop David Britto used her home as collateral to get her son out of jail. Now it seems there is a problem: She didn’t own the house.
The mix-up appears to be yet another misstep in the dramatic saga of the Boynton Beach police officer who bolted for Brazil late last month rather than stand trial on charges of trafficking methamphetamines.
As expected, Britto was a no-show for the start of his trial Tuesday in federal court in Miami.
U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham issued a warrant for the officer’s arrest. “I would hope the government would exert all efforts to try to have him arrested and extradited,” Graham said from the bench after a brief, 10-minute proceeding.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, lawyers and other officials were trying to sort out how Britto’s mother, Janiber Vieira, 51, was able in July to use the Coral Springs house where she lives to secure a $50,000 corporate surety bond for her son when her name is not on the deed.
It’s in only the name of her husband, Mariorlando F. Vieira, Broward County records show.
“It doesn’t matter if she’s on the deed or not. She’s my wife,” Mariorlando F. Vieira said in an interview Tuesday afternoon. “What I have belongs to her, no?”
Vieira, who is Britto’s stepfather, said he would sell the house and use the proceeds to pay the court and bail bondsman for the $100,000 in bonds that were posted guaranteeing Britto’s appearance in court.
Half of it — $50,000 — is owed to Big Mike’s Bail Bonds in West Palm Beach. Officials there declined to comment Tuesday.
Another $50,000 could be owed directly to the court. Britto and his mother co-signed a $50,000 personal surety bond.
The house is assessed at nearly $200,000, according to the Broward County records. But there is a $250,000 home equity loan against it, records show.
On Tuesday, U.S. Specialty Insurance Company of Houston, which underwrites bail bonds, staked its interest in the house by filing a copy in Broward County land records of a $50,000 mortgage signed by Janiber Vieira in July.
It may be worthless, however, since the house is not in her name.
That doesn’t mean Britto’s mother is in the clear. She’s in federal custody in New York and will be brought to Miami in coming days to answer to criminal charges for lying to federal authorities.
This article was written by Megan O’Matz on September 13, 2011.
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