Mortgage fraud is a Federal crime many have become familiar with in the last 10 years due to the real estate bubble burst in the late 2000s. Florida suffered through one of the worst strings of foreclosures and real property loss in our nation’s history and the after effects are still being experienced. With the real estate bubble burst, so too came allegations of fraud, from wire fraud to mail fraud, in an effort to hold both mortgage brokers and those seeking loans accountable should there have been a misrepresentation in an effort to obtain the loan. Ultimately, if false information was listed on a mortgage application or other documentation in an effort to secure a loan, a better interest rate, or to refinance and take a cash out of equity, an individual seeking the loan and/or the mortgage broker could be indicted for mortgage fraud. As with any white collar fraud allegation, the potential sentence involved will be partly determinant on the amount of money alleged to have been lost by the financial institution or private lender. Mortgage fraud allegations are taken very seriously by the United States Attorney’s office and are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, facts permitting. For that reason it is beneficial to retain an experienced criminal attorney, well versed in Federal criminal law and fraud cases. Choosing the right lawyer could be the difference in a conviction, the type of sentence received, or a result after trial.What is Mortgage Fraud?
While mortgage fraud is a blanket term that can technically be charged under several different statutes, 18 USC 1014 is one of the more popular statutes used to prosecute. Under 18 USC 1014, in short, whoever knowingly makes a false statement or report, overvalues land, property or security, for the purpose of having an effect in any way on the actions of a potential lender on any application, purchase agreement, or other documentation shall be fined up to $1,000,000 or be imprisoned for not more than 30 years. If one submits fraudulent information on a document used to secure a loan or push through a sale, they are subjecting themselves to prosecution for mortgage fraud. Because this crime is punishable by 25 years or more, it is considered a Class B felony and as such, is not eligible for a probationary sentence without some artful negotiation.How can We Help?
If you’ve been charged with mortgage fraud or have received a target letter inviting you to come to the US Attorney’s Office to talk about the allegation, it is important to first contact a Tampa Mortgage Fraud Attorney. Our firm is experienced with white-collar criminal allegations and has the skill to get you an excellent result in your case. Whether a trial is called for given a lack of proof, an artful plea is negotiated to reduce your relevant conduct loss, or there is the possibility of negotiating a time served plea or a plea for home confinement to be followed by supervised release, Federal criminal attorney Jason Mayberry can help. Call us today for a free consultation at 813-444-7435 or 727-771-3847.