Honest Services decision could impact cases involving Miami mortgage fraud, investment fraud, political wrongdoing

A U.S. Supreme Court opinion could impact a number of real estate fraud convictions in South Florida, including a high-profile case out of Fort Myers that captivated Southwest Floridians for most of the last year.

As our Miami real estate fraud attorneys continue to report on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog, authorities are in zealous pursuit of mortgage brokers, politicians, police officers and others accused of mortgage or real estate fraud in South Florida. The “honest services” law has been one of the primary vehicles of prosecution.

The News-Press reports that the court decision narrows the scope of the “honest services” law and criticized it as vague and ripe for abuse, saying that it subjected defendants to prosecution for minor transgressions and mistakes in the business and political world. The law has been used to convict a number of Florida mortgage brokers, politicians and others accused of fraud, including Samir Cabrera, who worked as a real estate broker in Fort Myers and Miami until being convicted of money laundering and wire fraud. He is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence. Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling was also convicted based on honest services law.

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Law enforcement officers among those accused of mortgage fraud in Broward County

Eight current or former law enforcement officers have been indicted on charges in connection with mortgage fraud in Broward County, the Miami Herald reported.

It is the second time in recent months that law enforcement officers have been accused of mortgage fraud in South Florida. As our Miami fraud lawyers reported recently on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog, a former Cape Coral police officer, who is the son of the current police chief, was accused of money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud in connection with a real estate fraud scheme.

In this case, a network of Broward County attorneys, law enforcement officers and mortgage brokers are accused of falsifying numerous documents to obtain $16.5 million in loans. The money was used to buy property during the real estate boom. Authorities say the scheme was masterminded by a former Plantation police officer, who recruited five other current and former police officers from that city, as well as a Lauderhill officer and an FBI agent. They allegedly acted as buyers who pledged to purchase and live in 38 condos and homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

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Illegal immigrant accused of high-tech cyber crime provides cautionary tale about the dangers of computer crime in South Florida

The arrest this week of a computer hacker in California demonstrates how dangerous and complex the online world has become. As we recently reported on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog, nearly one-third of all computer crimes in the United States originate in Florida.

For victims of computer crime in South Florida or those charged with cyber crimes in Miami, hiring an experienced Miami computer crimes lawyer is critical to protecting your rights. The location of the criminal makes little difference and the victims can live anywhere in the world.

In this case, the victim is accused of infecting more than 100 computers and using them to extort sexually explicit videos from women and teenage girls. The 31-year-old illegal immigrant was living in Santa Ana and was proficient in multiple computer languages, including Java and C++. The Associated Press reports he found victims on peer-to-peer networks, in which computer users share files and communications pathways. He disguised malicious computer code as popular songs and used it to infiltrate the computers of those who downloaded the files. Once infected, the code passed from computer to computer via instant messages.

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Miami defendant accused of federal bank fraud charges in import-export scam

A Miami exporter has pleaded guilty to federal charges of bank fraud, according to the South Florida Business Journal.

The 47-year-old owner of a Miami-based exporting company was convicted of defrauding the Export-Import bank of the United States out of more than $24 million. Federal prosecutors alleged that he was part of a ring that submitted false information to the bank to obtain loans between April 2003 and May 2009. These cases have become even more common since the economic downturn as authorities aggressively pursue those accused of falsifying loan documents to obtain credit during the boom years. Hiring a federal defense lawyer in Miami is critical to defending yourself against allegations of bank or investment fraud.

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Nearly 100 arrested in South Florida during massive nationwide raid targeting mortgage fraud

The U.S. Justice Department has announced the arrests of nearly 500 people in a nationwide crackdown on mortgage scams, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Hiring a Miami mortgage fraud attorney is critical to protecting your rights as a homeowner or as a defendant suspected of participating in a mortgage fraud scam. As we reported recently on our Miami Criminal Attorney Blog, Florida leads the nation in mortgage fraud cases. As homeowners struggle to retain ownership of their property, they may fall victim to scams. Meanwhile, the aggressive tactics of law enforcement are leading to more and more arrests of agents, brokers and others who are accused of mortgage fraud. In many cases, they may be guilty of nothing more than being victimized by the unprecedented downturn in the real estate market.

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