Miami ranked second nationwide in mortgage fraud claims

Even now, in the depths of South Florida’s real estate bust, instances of mortgage and appraisal fraud in South Florida continue to rise, according to statistics provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The schemes often involved inaccurate property valuations obtained from exaggerated or manipulated appraisals.

Last month, a Jacksonville appraiser was sentenced to four years in federal prison after he and a partner were convicted of purchasing about 55 houses through mortgage and appraisal fraud, the Examiner reported.

Authorities say he inflated the appraisals his partner used to support the purchase price. In that scheme, for example, they would agree to buy a house for $480,000 and then submit an inflated appraisal and obtain loans for $625,000, pocketing the difference.

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South Florida mortgage fraud scheme involves police chief’s son

A former police officer — and son of Cape Coral’s current police chief — entered a plea deal last week as part of a $4.2 million mortgage fraud conspiracy, according to the Fort Myers News-Press.

The high-profile case is the latest in a string of arrests for mortgage fraud in South Florida since the real estate market collapsed in 2007.

Earlier this month, two Miami men were sentenced to 45 months in prison for obtaining two fraudulent loans totaling $1 million. The defendant’s used the financial information of a mother-in-law to obtain the loans and used a home she owned as collateral, BNO News reported.

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Federal mortgage fraud task force holds inaugural meeting in Miami

The high numbers of mortgage fraud cases in Miami prompted the federal government to hold the first in a serious of Mortgage Fraud Summits here last week.

Representatives of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, an arm of government formed by President Obama in November to investigate and prosecute financial crimes, is composed of representatives from a wide range of federal agencies and regulatory authorities, as well as state of local law enforcement.

While questions will remain for years about who was minding the store during South Florida’s unprecedented real estate boom, there is no question that authorities are attempting to make up for lost time with the zealous prosecution of mortgage fraud cases in Miami and throughout South Florida.

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Miami Real Estate Fraud – A sign of the times

Miami, Florida: it’s not just for drugs anymore. We have white-collar crime with the best of them.

Miami is often referred to as a mortgage fraud hot spot. The question is, does that statement really encompass the boom of economic crime that has been en vogue in South Florida for the past five to ten years. This article will be the first in a series of posts that will examine the crime spree caused by the real estate boom and subsequent bust. We will look at the types of crimes committed, what is being done and what can be done about them, and what to expect in the criminal justice system as a result.

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Recommending a Polygraph, Pro’s and Con’s for Attorneys Representing Targets in White Collar Crime Investigations in Florida.

People, police included, make up their minds fast, like traffic through Miami. Once they decide that a particular client is a target of the investigation, it is an uphill battle for a lawyer to shake that belief. This is particularly true in a white collar case where the evidence consists so much more of flat paper and less of people with depth, personality and degrees of guilt or innocence. Investigators that have found a theory supported by the evidence are unlikely to have that belief shaken by protestations of innocence.

A polygraph is one thing that can make a dent. Now, it is certainly true that the polygraphs are inadmissible. It is also true that the test itself can be manipulated. They are subject to human error and human interpretation. For this reason it is critical to use an examiner that has an excellent reputation known to the police. There’s nothing worse than presenting a polygraph taken by someone who the police think is a hired gun. However, if a suspect subjects himself to a polygraph examiner who is believed to be unbiased and comes through with flying colors then the attorney has a real opportunity to make progress.

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