Federal Mortgage Fraud

What is Federal Mortgage Fraud?

Federal mortgage fraud refers to illegal activities related to obtaining or maintaining a mortgage loan through deceptive or fraudulent means. These matters are often prosecuted pursuant to federal law in federal court. Mortgage fraud typically involves misrepresenting or omitting important information during the mortgage application process with the intention of securing a loan that the borrower may not otherwise qualify to receive.

Some Common Forms of Federal Mortgage Fraud Include:

Loan Application Fraud: This occurs when false information is intentionally provided on a mortgage application, such as inflating income, misrepresenting employment history, or fabricating assets.

Property Flipping Fraud: Property flipping involves rapidly buying and selling a property to artificially inflate its value. In mortgage fraud cases, the property’s value may be fraudulently inflated, and false appraisals or fraudulent documents may be used to support the inflated value.

Straw Buyer Scheme: In this type of fraud, a person knowingly acts as a “straw buyer” to purchase a property on behalf of someone else who cannot qualify for the loan. The straw buyer’s identity and financial information are used to deceive the lender.

Equity Skimming: Equity skimming occurs when an investor purchases a property and then intentionally fails to make mortgage payments but collects rental income or sells the property without paying off the mortgage. This scheme can result in financial loss for the lender.

Foreclosure Rescue Scams: These scams target distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. Fraudsters may promise to help save their homes by offering services that require upfront fees but provide little or no assistance.
Mortgage fraud is taken seriously at the federal level, and various agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), routinely investigate and prosecute these offenses.

Penalties

Penalties for federal mortgage fraud can vary depending on the specific nature and severity of the offense. Under federal law, mortgage fraud can be prosecuted under various statutes, such as the Bank Fraud Act (18 U.S.C. § 1344), the False Statements Act (18 U.S.C. § 1014), and the Wire Fraud Act (18 U.S.C. § 1343).
Penalties for federal mortgage fraud can include:

Imprisonment: Those found guilty of federal mortgage fraud can face significant prison sentences. Depending on the circumstances, the length of imprisonment can range from a few years to several decades.

Fines: Individuals convicted of mortgage fraud can be subject to substantial fines. The exact amount of the fine depends on the severity of the offense, the financial harm caused, and other factors.

Restitution: Courts may order individuals convicted of mortgage fraud to pay restitution to the victims to compensate for any financial losses suffered.

Supervised Release: In addition to imprisonment, a court may impose a term of supervised release, during which the convicted individual must comply with certain conditions and be under the supervision of probation or parole officers.

It’s worth noting that these penalties are general guidelines, and the specific penalties for mortgage fraud can vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Repeat offenders or those involved in large-scale mortgage fraud schemes may face more severe penalties.

What Does a Federal Mortgage Fraud Criminal Defense Attorney Do?

A federal mortgage fraud criminal defense attorney is a legal professional who is highly experienced in defending individuals or organizations accused of mortgage fraud in federal court.

Here are some of the key responsibilities and tasks that a federal mortgage fraud criminal defense attorney may undertake:

Case Evaluation: The attorney will assess the details of the case, including reviewing relevant documents, evidence, and laws to determine the strength of the prosecution’s case against their client.

Legal Strategy: Based on the case evaluation, the attorney will develop a defense strategy tailored to the specific circumstances of their client. This may involve identifying potential legal defenses, such as lack of intent or evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused engaged in fraudulent activities.

Investigation: The attorney may conduct an independent investigation to gather additional evidence or challenge the prosecution’s evidence. This can include interviewing witnesses, reviewing financial records, or collaborating with forensic experts.

Negotiations: If appropriate, the attorney may engage in plea negotiations with the prosecution to secure a favorable outcome for their client, such as reduced charges or penalties.

Court Representation: In cases that proceed to trial, the attorney will represent their client in court. This involves presenting arguments, cross-examining witnesses, and challenging the prosecution’s evidence to build a strong defense.

Legal Advice: Throughout the legal process, the attorney will provide guidance and advice to their client, explaining the charges, potential consequences, and available legal options.

Mitigation: In situations where a conviction is likely, the attorney may focus on minimizing the potential penalties. This can involve presenting mitigating factors, such as the defendant’s lack of criminal history or demonstrating efforts to rectify any harm caused.

Appeals: If the client is convicted, the attorney can handle the appeals process, aiming to overturn the conviction or reduce the severity of the sentence.

Overall, a federal mortgage fraud criminal defense attorney’s primary objective is to protect their client’s rights and interests, providing skilled legal representation throughout the legal proceedings and striving for the best possible outcome considering the circumstances.

The lawyers at the Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm have decades of experience defending clients charged with federal mortgage fraud. Our attorneys have the experience and knowledge to provide the best possible defense of these charges.

To schedule a Strategy Session with an experienced federal mortgage fraud attorney, contact the Attorneys For Freedom today. We can be reached online at AttorneysForFreedom.com or by calling our Arizona office at 480-755-7110 or our Hawai’i office at 808-647-2423.

 

Arizona Office Address:
3185 S. Price Rd.
Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 480-755-7110
Hawai’i Office Address:
1003 Bishop Street, Suite 1260 Pauahi Tower
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96813
Phone: 808-647-2423
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