Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mortgage Fraud

Here is an article I saw today at that tells of the recent charges filed in a huge mortgage fraud scheme. I touched on it in my earlier post here when I talked about the mortgage fraud seminar I attended a few months ago.

67 from Chicago area charged in U.S. mortgage fraud probe

By Jeff Coen and Todd Lighty | Tribune reporters
1:37 PM CDT, June 19, 2008

Federal authorities in Chicago this afternoon announced charges against 67 people in a sweeping investigation of mortgage fraud with national reach.

The U.S. attorney's office in Chicago said the dozens arrested here as part of Operation Malicious Mortgage include local mortgage brokers, loan officers, Realtors, home builders and lawyers.

A press conference was scheduled for 1 p.m. to discuss the charges, which include mortgage fraud, identity theft and bankruptcy fraud.

Federal prosecutors said the cases involve more than $170 million in fraudulently obtained home mortgages.

Across the country, prosecutors said 406 people have been charged in 144 prosecutions as part of the national effort. The FBI estimated losses at $1 billion.

"Mortgage fraud inflicts serious damage upon financial institutions but, more importantly, makes life more difficult for ordinary citizens," U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said in a statement. "These crimes, on the scale being addressed today, cause banks and lending companies, which have been saddled with huge numbers of fraudulent mortgages, to tighten their lending practices and adjust the cost of doing business."
Read full article here.