Ten arrested on South Florida mortgage fraud charges for alleged scheme in Miami-Dade and Broward counties

Ten people were arrested on Friday on charges alleging their involvement in a mortgage fraud and identity theft ring in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the Miami Herald reported.

Our Miami mortgage fraud defense lawyers have reported extensively on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog about the high number of fraud cases in South Florida. One raid last month netted almost 100 defendants charged with mortgage fraud and real estate fraud. Having given loans to anyone with a pulse during the boom years, the banks are now crying foul and seeking criminal charges in the face of a record number of soured loans. Many of these defendants are guilty of nothing more than getting caught up in the unprecedented real estate bust. They have suffered heavy financial losses and are now finding themselves under criminal indictment. Hiring an experienced and aggressive Miami criminal defense lawyer to deal with charges involving mortgage fraud or real estate fraud is essential to protecting your rights.

This case is different in that the defendant’s allegedly stole people’s identities and used them to purchase properties. We have written here about the challenges victims of identity theft face in restoring their reputation. In such extreme examples, where mortgages were issued in a person’s name, an experienced financial crimes attorney will need to assist a victim in straightening out their financial affairs.

The ring is accused of committing about $8 million in fraud involving about 25 properties. The alleged fraud began in 2006. Charges against those involved include racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, grand theft and title insurance fraud.

“This is not new here in South Florida, unfortunately,”said Special Agent in Charge Amos Rojas Jr. with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The arrests come after a four-year investigation by the FDLE’s Miami office, CBS4 reported.

The defendants are accused of a scheme to steal the identities of people in New Jersey and Florida. Their identities were then provided to phony property buyers, who used the information to obtain mortgages and buy properties. Authorities contend that the defendants then flipped the properties and pocketed the profit, usually without any attempt to make mortgage payments to the bank.