Federal Mortgage Fraud Criminal Charges
At Simons Law Office, we take on some of the most difficult cases. We are based in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, and our attorneys are regularly contacted by people facing charges around the country. Call us today for a free telephone consultation with one of our experienced federal defense attorneys.
What is mortgage fraud?
The terms “mortgage fraud” actually refers to a range of federal crimes that include allegations that a person or company used false information on mortgage documents for personal gain. Although mortgage fraud is not a specific federal charge, these cases often include indictments for conspiracy, bank fraud, and wire fraud.
There are some common schemes that lead to mortgage fraud charges, including:
-providing false information on a mortgage loan application
-providing forged pay stubs or tax returns
-accepting illegal rebates or kickbacks
-appraising a property at an inflated value to get a higher loan amount
-using a “straw buyer,” while hiding the identity of the true borrower
-secretly taking out a second mortgage
These are just a few examples of mortgage fraud allegations. It is crucial to have an experienced federal defense attorney on your side if you are indicted for mortgage fraud related charges.
If you are facing mortgage fraud or related charges, our federal criminal defense attorneys can help. Call Simons Law Office for a free confidential telephone consultation at 781-797-0555 today.
Penalties for mortgage fraud
The Fraud and Recovery Act (FERA) grants federal law enforcement agencies extensive authority to investigate and prosecute laws related to mortgage fraud. A conviction can lead to a 30-year prison sentence and fines up to one million dollars. The actual punishment is dependent on several factors, and is largely driven by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. A major driving force in the sentence is the “loss amount”; in other words, the amount of money that was defrauded. That said, people only get sentenced if convicted. An experienced defense attorney can help you decide whether to plead guilty or fight the case at trial. If pleading guilty, our job is to try to mitigate or avoid a prison sentence altogether. On the other hand, we are experienced trial attorneys and know how to defend against serious charges.
Mortgage fraud defense attorneys
Buying and selling real estate involves many people. Buyers, sellers, real estate agents, brokers, title company employees, appraisers, and bank lenders all have roles to play in a transaction. If any of those players make a false statement or otherwise does something wrong, everyone involved can become the targets of a government investigation. The people most often charged in mortgage fraud cases are mortgage brokers, real estate agents, appraisers, and even real estate attorneys. In some cases, individual home buyers or sellers are indicted, too.
Defenses for mortgage fraud charges
Every situation is unique and requires the assistance of a skilled defense attorney. Our firm has the experience to give you honest feedback about your case, and working together to develop a plan of defense. Two commonly used defenses for mortgage fraud are “lack of intent” and “reasonable doubt.”
Lack of intent: the prosecution has to prove that you knew what was going on. It can be difficult for the prosecutor to prove your intent, especially when there are often so many people involved in the deal. Sometimes people do things by mistake, or without even knowing that certain information was inadvertently provided incorrectly.
Not enough evidence: in order to convict you, the prosecution needs to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That’s a high burden. In many trials, we have succeeded in simply pointing out deficiencies in the government’s case.