17 New York Charged in Massive Mortgage Scam have been charged with defrauding legitimate homeowners and various lending institutions out of more than $3 million in equity that had been stripped from 26 refinanced residential properties valued at $13 million. Many of the loans subsequently went into default, leaving lending institutions with insufficient collateral and substantial losses, or into foreclosure, leaving homeowners, in some cases, homeless.
The defendants are variously charged with first and second-degree grand larceny, first degree criminal possession of stolen property, first-degree money laundering, first-degree identity theft, second-degree forgery, second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, first-degree falsifying business records, first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, first-degree scheme to defraud and fourth-degree criminal facilitation. If convicted, the defendants face as much as 25 years in prison.
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We must be vigilant against fraud, recognizing its signs and taking proactive, definite, and realistic steps to not only prevent it but also punish it.
It starts with me.
It starts with you.
It starts with us...
You are all encouraged to report any suspected mortgage fraud activity to authorities.
Michael S. Richardson
Director/Mortgage Fraud Services
Author of "An American Epidemic, Mortgage Fraud a Serious Business"
Follow me on Twitter @ FocusonFraud