As a result of the unprecedented financial collapse seen in the United States and around the world starting in 2008, real estate markets plummeted in value. This led to millions of individuals losing their home or watching as their home lost all of its equity. In the midst of this tumultuous period, federal prosecutors, district attorneys, and state regulators began to investigate and indict many individuals for mortgage fraud.
Mortgage fraud is a very serious crime that can result in financial penalties and jail time. Because of the technicalities involved in defending against a charge of mortgage fraud, it is impossible for an individual to successfully defend themselves in court. For this reason, it is recommended that anyone facing a charge of mortgage fraud speak to the experienced attorneys of Raiser & Kenniff.
Individuals who are charged with mortgage fraud come from diverse backgrounds and diverse walks of life. They include lenders, brokers, closing attorneys, and individuals from all sectors of the real estate industry. The FBI along with the Department of Justice created a specialized task force designed to examine the lending and borrowing process in order to identify individuals who were involved with mortgage fraud and to aggressively prosecute them.
There are many felonies that are connected with mortgage fraud. These include mail fraud, conspiracy, false statement, and wire fraud. Prosecutors will use these felonies in an attempt to prove that lenders and attorneys worked together to misrepresent information presented to borrowers.
Over the past few years, large mortgage related cases surrounding construction and rehabilitation loans have found their way into the New York Court system. According to the FBI, their goal is to “identify large-scale industry insiders and criminal enterprises conducting systematic mortgage fraud.”
Their investigations include institutions that provide real estate loans including those that specialized in risky subprime mortgages as well as those who lent money using more traditional financing methods. Anyone suspected of committing mortgage fraud can find themselves subpoenaed, forced to answer questions, and ultimately charged with a crime. Individuals who attempt to defend themselves against the charge of mortgage fraud on their own are setting themselves up for failure. From the get-go, it is essential that anyone facing these charges speak to a qualified criminal defense attorney.
In an attempt to protect its residents from being victims of mortgage fraud, the New York Penal Law Code provides detailed definitions and terms connected with this crime. It separates residential mortgage fraud(Defined by New York Penal Law 187.00) from other forms of mortgage fraud. This law court explains that mortgage fraud is perpetrated when an individual knowingly intends to defraud another by using written statements known to contain false information or attempts to hide information pertaining to a factual matter with the goal of being misleading.
Mortgage fraud is committed by an individual applying for mortgage, the lender, or any other individual who has something to gain from the fraud. It is always carried out for some financial gain. It can include things such as supplying fraudulent information about income in order to attain a bigger loan, working alongside real estate agents and appraisers to sell property at an exaggerated value, presenting misleading information about a building’s occupancy to obtain discount insurance rates, or refusing to disclose required information.
The FBI and prosecutors are very diligent about examining suspected cases of mortgage fraud. If an individual has made any mistakes, the prosecutor, the FBI, and other governmental agencies investigating the case will identify them, and they will be used against the accused individual. Especially in the current real estate environment, mortgage fraud is looked down upon. Federal judges and prosecutors in New York City have very little patience with individuals who commit mortgage fraud. They will do everything in their power to ensure that the accused individual is punished.
This underscores the importance of contacting a mortgage fraud attorney when facing federal charges. If you are facing mortgage fraud charges, you must understand how serious the accusation is. Federal prosecutors and the FBI have limitless resources available to them. Federal sentencing guidelines allow for an individual accused of mortgage fraud to receive strict and long prison sentences.
Our criminal defense attorneys have 30+ years of combined experience defending individuals who have been accused of federal crimes such as mortgage fraud. We understand the intricacies of these cases, and we are eager to provide you with the best defense possible.