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Mortgage Fraud Archives

Prosecutions For Mortgage Fraud Up

The Mortgage Fraud Index tracks the total number of local, state and federal prosecutions for mortgage fraud nationwide. The numbers for the first quarter of 2013 are in. The first quarter saw a 16 percent increase in mortgage fraud cases from the final quarter of 2012. The increase was short-term however, as the numbers are still down from the first quarter of last year. In total, 125 mortgage fraud cases were prosecuted all across the nation in the first quarter of this year.

Sentencing For Couple In Mortgage Fraud And Tax Evasion Case

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that two Florida residents had been sentenced in a mortgage fraud and tax evasion case. The couple, Rudolf Straat and Maria Gudelis, pleaded guilty in December and January to charges of conspiracy and tax evasion. They were accused of mortgage fraud for presenting false information in order to obtain mortgage loans to buy homes in Florida and Nevada. The purchases totaled more than $10 million. The couples' activities took place between 2004 and 20012.

From Cocaine To Mortgage Fraud

A three-year operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation led to the arrest of four Florida residents last month. The three, Jim Sotolongo, Ramara Garrett, Stephanie Musselwhite and Christopher Mencis were indicted last week in Orlando on charges that they conducted a mortgage fraud scheme over a period of years. Mr. Sotolongo has prior experience with federal prosecutors. In 1995, he entered into a plea agreement on drug charges and money-laundering charges. He was facing up to 33 years in prison. Instead, he cooperated with government officials and received five years of probation.

Confirmation Of Florida As Mortgage Fraud Leader

The Mortgage Fraud Index was released this week by the publication Mortgage Daily and it confirms what previous reports have shown. Despite a five-year low in legal actions for mortgage fraud nationwide, such actions actually rose in Florida in the last quarter of 2012. According to the index, Florida saw a rise in these actions and once again was the nation's leader in claims for mortgage fraud. In the fourth quarter alone, there were $246.9 million worth of mortgage fraud cases in this state. California placed a distant second, more than $50 million behind. Florida made up nearly one-fifth of all mortgage fraud cases throughout the United States during that time period.

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