Police Stand Trial in Broward Mortgage Fraud Case

Six current and former law enforcement officers are on trial for mortgage fraud in Fort Lauderdale, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

We continue to read about and hear about an increasing number of state and federal fraud cases connected to the economic downturn and the collapse of the real estate market. Our Miami criminal defense attorneys know that a number of real estate agents, mortgage professionals and even attorneys have been accused of fraud in connection during the boom years. Struggling Florida homeowners and many other defendants are guilty of nothing more than making bad investment decisions or of being caught up in the economic downturn.

Prosecutors continue to argue that the defendants lied about incomes and place of residence in order to gain loans that would normally have been out of reach for their salaries. The two-month trial of an FBI agent and four police officers is the latest in a string of high-profile trials connected to the foreclosure crisis. The defendants argue they were betrayed by dishonest brokers who falsified documents and forged signatures.

According to Federal prosecutors, the documents were so obviously fraudulent that there is no way the officers could not have been involved. The officers have been accused of inflating their incomes, promising to reside in homes that they had no intentions of living in, and exaggerating their job titles.

Roughly $2.5 million in loans was obtained by one of the officers on seven different properties, even though he was living on a salary of a little more than $50,000 a year.

Many people could be facing federal charges for inflating or overstating earnings in order to obtain loans. If the market hadn’t crashed, the officers would have more than likely flipped the real estate, paid back the loans and make a significant profit. The government has become much more aggressive in filing such charges, as if the banks need help as middle-class Americans continue to struggle through the recession.