Florida Federal Criminal Defense Attorney, Lawyer W.F. ”Casey” Ebsary recently reviewed an interesting piece on Mortgage Fraud by an experienced white collar criminal defense attorney. Angie Halim, an attorney recently published a summary called “The Current State of Mortgage Fraud Prosecution.” The complete work can be found in Criminal Litigation, Fall 2009, Volume 10, Number 1, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation.
The writer defines Mortgage Fraud as “a material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission relied upon by an underwriter or lender to fund, purchase, or insure a loan.” Although the term used is “mortgage fraud” there are several fact patterns that generate state and federal criminal cases. They are according to the white collar criminal defense attorney Halim:
Mortgage appraisal fraud
Mortgage fraud equity skimming
Straw purchasing schemes
Mortgage occupancy fraud
United States Code Sections frequently used:
Conspiracy 18 u.s.c. § 371
Mail Fraud 18 u.s.c. § 1341
Wire Fraud 18 u.s.c. § 1343
Bank Fraud 18 u.s.c. § 1344
Tax Fraud 26 u.s.c. § 7201 et seq.
False Statements 18 u.s.c. § 1001
False Statements in Loan Applications 18 u.s.c. § 1014.
The FBI notes and federal criminal defense attorney Halim concurs there are some emerging trends in Mortgage Fraud prosecutions including “reverse mortgage fraud schemes, credit enhancement schemes, builder bailout schemes, condominium conversion schemes, foreclosure rescue schemes, serial property flipping, and short sales schemes.” The FBI has now commenced “Operation Malicious Mortgage.” The feds will pursue lending fraud, foreclosure rescue schemes, and mortgage-related bankruptcy cases, the article notes.
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Source: The Current State of Mortgage Fraud Prosecution, Criminal Litigation, Fall 2009, Volume 10, Number 1, American Bar Association, Section of Litigation.
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