Mortgage fraud made major news today as the FBI revealed it has arrested more than 60 people yesterday across the country for such home loan scams.
"Mortgage fraud poses a significant threat to our economy, to the stability of our nation’s housing market, and to the peace of mind of millions of American homeowners. It includes a wide variety of criminal acts that have proved devastating to many American families," Deputy Attorney General Mark R. Filip said during a press conference.
The three-month effort, known as "Operation Malicious Mortgage," uncovered 144 home loan fraud cases; 406 defendants have been charged so far in these scams, which have resulted in $1 billion in losses.
In a separate, but perhaps even more high-profile, action, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York has indicted two Bear Stearns portfolio managers for conspiracy and fraud related to the housing crisis and the subprime mortgage collapse. Matthew Tannin and Ralph Cioffi allegedly lied to investors about the true state of two hedge funds that were invested in subprime mortgages. "By March 2007, the managers believed the funds were in grave condition and at risk of collapse, but made misrepresentations to stave off investor withdrawal. The funds subsequently collapsed in the summer of 2007 resulting in approximately $1.4 billion in losses to investors," according to an FBI statement.
Alison Rice is senior editor, online for BUILDER magazine.