Mortgage Fraud a Growing Problem in South Florida
Mortgage fraud is becoming a growing problem in South Florida. Law enforcement is cracking down and conducting thorough investigations around home buying. With today’s economic climate, people are more likely to commit mortgage fraud than ever. Unfortunately, innocent people get swept up in these fraudulent schemes without even realizing it. If you have been accused of committing mortgage fraud and you had no intention to do so, contact a criminal defense lawyer and you could even get your case dismissed.
Palm Beach County Mortgage Fraud
According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, four Palm Beach County residents and one Port Saint Lucie man were charged last week in a mortgage fraud scheme federal investigators said involved $8 million in loan proceeds and 17 homes. If they are convicted, the defendants are facing a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
According to a complaint filed in United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, between November 2006 and November 2007, two of the defendants had found 17 homes in Florida and Tennessee for which they sought financing above the actual sales price quoted by the seller. The defendants also involved family members and friends to act as straw buyers for the homes, a corrupt attorney as the closing agent, and a corrupt banker who sent falsified deposit verifications to lenders.
Mortgage fraud can often be a crime that involves several different crimes also committed in the scheme. Mortgage fraud cases can also result in residual charges of wire fraud and money laundering. This can be a result of:
- Overestimating income
- Overvaluing homes
- Making false appraisals
- Making false statements on a mortgage application or HUD statement
- Engaging in mortgage and real estate schemes
Mortgage Fraud Criminal Defense
If you have been accused of committing mortgage fraud and you did not intend to commit fraud in any way, contact a criminal defense lawyer who will aggressively fight this case for you. A lawyer like Andrew D. Stine will review bank statements, mortgage applications, and other documents pertinent to your case. In addition, there will be a review of the sale and buying history of the house to determine if fraudulent practices
occurred before you purchased it. If you are an innocent player in a larger mortgage fraud scheme, a strong criminal defense lawyer can have the case dismissed.