Mortgage fraud charges against 41 defendants have been unsealed by Preet Bharara, a U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. The charges are in relation to eight separate cases, and the various fraud scams collectively defrauded lenders out of more than $64 million in mortgages on more than 100 properties across New York state.
Among those charged are six lawyers, seven loan officers, three mortgage brokers, an accountant and a residential property appraiser.
As part of the coordinated takedown of ‘Operation Bad Deeds’ – a joint federal, state and local law enforcement operation targeting mortgage fraud crimes – 31 defendants were arrested or surrendered to authorities in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Carolina.
The mortgage fraud scams alleged in the cases included, among other things, short-sale flips, equity stripping, and appraisal and loan fraud. In one case, defendants operated a foreclosure rescue scheme.
"It is especially alarming when lawyers, loan officers and mortgage brokers treat their professional licenses as license to loot banks and profit from other people's pain," says Bharara.
State banking regulators, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service and the inspector generals for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. were among the agencies collaborating in "Operation Bad Deeds."
SOURCE: Federal Bureau of Investigation