Mortgage Fraud Charges
There are many different forms of mortgage fraud and these cases may be brought in either federal or state court. However, due to the recent financial disaster this country has seen as a result of the mortgage crisis, these cases have become very popular with federal prosecutors. Many mortgage fraud cases are being brought in federal court throughout the country and New York is no exception. The economic impact on the housing market in the New York City area has led to many different types of fraudulent activities and many people have been caught up in the net cast by the federal government.
Federal mortgage fraud often is targeted through a number of different types of criminal cases, including wire fraud, violations of security and securitization laws, money laundering, and federal fraud. The crime of mortgage fraud may involve many different people on various sides and levels of the transactions. The case may involve allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the mortgage lender, the borrower, or both. In addition, other professionals involved in the lengthy process of applying for and obtaining a mortgage may be involved in the fraudulent activities. These cases can be based on evidence of making of false statements or submitting fraudulent documents. The liability also may involve intentional omissions.
Mortgage fraud, at its heart, involves a situation where a person outright lies, makes confusing or misleading statements, or omits important information during the mortgage application process with the goal of financial gain. The fraud may be the result of one single act or omission on the part of the lender or borrower or it may involve a complex series of misrepresentations. Historically, mortgage fraud based on intentional omissions was not prosecuted based on the complexities of proving an intentional act rather than a mistaken omission. However, this has changed recently.
Some of the more common types of fraud include:
- Mortgage Lender Fraud – Financial institutions make their money originating mortgages, which was one of the reasons for the financial collapse of 2008. In order to make money, various parties, including the appraisers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, and other professionals who benefit from the issuance of a mortgage work together to originate mortgages for the purpose of financial gain, regardless of the legitimacy of the financial information used to obtain the mortgage;
- Borrower fraud – Many times this type of fraud is based on a desire to qualify for a mortgage that otherwise would not be feasible. Borrowers submit documents with erroneous financial information that enable them to obtain a mortgage. The goal of this type of fraud is to obtain a house rather than some other type of financial gain; and
- Single and Multiple Act Mortgage Fraud – A single act of mortgage fraud may be inflating the income of a borrower in order to obtain a mortgage. However, there are mortgage schemes that involve the intentional acts of a number of parties, which collectively result in obtaining a mortgage with the intent of making a quick financial gain. This may happen when a party obtains a mortgage and buys a house, then immediately turns around and gets an artificially inflated appraisal from someone working in conjunction with the homeowner. When the house sells for a significant profit, the parties share in the illegally-obtained financial gain.
Federal prosecutions of mortgage fraud most often happen when there are financial institutions involved in the fraudulent activities, when the mortgage fraud impacts different states, and when there are frauds that directly involve federal agencies. In some cases, federal prosecutors will make use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) in order to bring down individuals and financial institutions perpetrating widespread mortgage fraud.
Greco Neyland, PC Defends Clients Accused of Mortgage Fraud
These cases often involve an overzealous prosecutor and many people pointing fingers at each other. At Greco Neyland, PC, our attorneys understand how to break down the case to its basic components in order to attack the evidence from different sides, including the fact that there was no intention to commit fraud. Coincidentally, Jeff Greco is a prior mortgage loan officer for a national mortgage company, and has the inside information as to how these loans are applied for and processed.
In addition, our attorneys know that the investigating agents working with the federal prosecutors will not hesitate to violate the constitutional rights of the targets of the investigation. We will expose every illegal action as a means to try to get the charges dismissed completely. Even if there is no dismissal, our attorneys will not give up and are prepared to go to trial to get justice for our clients. We have a Manhattan office for the convenience of our clients, and we have resources available no matter where in the New York City are that the case is filed. Call us at (212) 951-1300 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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