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Six indicted in Maryland mortgage fraud scheme

Many Marylanders remember the housing crash that happened about five years ago and how it shattered markets in our state and across the country. Economists placed much of the blame for the rash of foreclosures and the fall of home prices on predatory lending and mortgage fraud.

In response, the federal and state governments launched aggressive tactics to stop those who engage in mortgage fraud and other financial scams. The Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force drew together agencies that focus on detecting, prosecuting and preventing mortgage fraud. And in 2009 the federal Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force was formed to aggressively investigate and prosecute those engaging in financial crimes. These coalitions, made up of dozens of federal agencies, law enforcement departments and U.S. attorneys, are coming down hard on anyone suspected of mortgage fraud of any kind.

Now a group of six people are facing up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 after being accused of waging a $4.5 million mortgage scheme. The indictment of the defendants, all but one of whom are from Maryland, was unsealed this week. It alleges that a woman whose title insurance license was revoked 10 years ago conspired with several others to arrange fraudulent real estate purchases. The group would then profit from the transactions by creating different versions of settlement statements and distributing the proceeds from the real estate transactions to shell companies, according to the indictment. One of the defendants was a former employee of the U.S. Department of Justice.

When people are accused of crimes that the government has so publicly pledged to prevent, an effective and well-prepared defense is critical. Aggressive prosecution tactics require an equal or stronger defense approach with the help of a legal team that knows those tactics and how to fight them. Nathans & Biddle, LLP has been successfully defending mortgage fraud cases for more than 15 years.

Source: LoanSafe.org, "Maryland Title Insurance Company Employee Indicted in $4.5M Mortgage Fraud Scheme," Evan Bedard, Jan. 14, 2013

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