Real Estate Fraud

The many forms of real estate fraud committed in the Miami area are as varied as snowflakes. During the height of the real estate boom there was very little oversight by investors, sellers, and the government. Many people, who otherwise may have never engaged in any type of crime, were inexorably drawn into the fray. Real estate fraud runs from mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud to various schemes involving the property itself.

Typically, each case has multiple aspects that can prevent the prosecution from establishing the root of the fraud. For instance, there have been prosecutions of individuals who forged deeds to properties. Once the deed was in the name of an entity they controlled, they would seek a line of credit for the equity in the home. By the time the rightful owners realized there was a dispute over title, the perpetrator had already cashed out the equity line and skipped town.

Depending on the circumstances, other cases such as simultaneous flips, kickbacks to brokers or buyers and the use of straw buyers can skirt the edges between what is a criminal, civil or administrative violation. Each case stands on its own merits and reasonable minds may differ as to whether a particular scenario constitutes a crime or not. In these situations, an experienced attorney can make the entire difference between a criminal prosecution in a State or Federal Court and a civil lawsuit.