Florida’s crackdown on financial crimes continues. A notable recent example is a mortgage fraud case in which indictments have been filed against seven individuals accused of defrauding Miami residents. The indictments were issued in the Southern District of Florida.
An announcement about the charges was made by multiple officials from different government agencies. The agencies represented included the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In total, there are 19 counts in the indictments. They were returned by federal grand jury on March 13 and unsealed on March 31.
All seven defendants in the case were charged with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. Some of the defendants were additionally charged with wire fraud and bank fraud. Four of the defendants are in custody and appeared in Miami before a United States magistrate judge. The other three defendants are at large.
According to allegations in the indictment, some of the defendants controlled or owned Miami properties. They enlisted various individuals, including mortgage brokers, to act as straw buyers. The straw buyers then posed as qualifying mortgage applicants in order to fraudulently purchase some of the condominiums that were part of the Miami properties.
The defendants, according to allegations, prepared loan documents. The loan documents contained false representations and statements about the buyers’ assets, income and other information. Lenders, based on that data, were persuaded to make loans in order to finance the purchases of the condominiums.
Mortgage fraud cases like this continue to be common in Florida. While some defendants may not face the same charges in the same case, the penalties for these types of crimes are severe. An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney can provide information about the charges, penalties and possible defense strategies.
Source: enewspf.com, “Seven Indicted in Florida in Mortgage Scheme” No author given, Mar. 31, 2014