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Utah lawmaker calls for mortgage fraud prosecutor

Says real estate boom makes state 'ripe' for fraud

A Utah lawmaker plans to introduce a bill during the 2006 legislative session calling for a special prosecutor to tackle mortgage fraud cases, the Utah Standard-Examiner reported today. State Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, who is himself a commercial loan officer for Utah's Zions Bank, told the Standard-Examiner that a boom in Utah's real estate market has made the state ripe for mortgage fraud. "It (the boom) spurs a lot of this because Utah is a hot market," Ray told the Standard-Examiner. "It brings in people who want to make a quick buck." Ray said the state legislature has taken some steps to protect consumers from mortgage fraud and in 2003 approved a bill that requires loan officers to become licensed and regulated by the Utah Mortgage Commission, the Standard-Examiner reported. Mortgage fraud is on the upswing, with the number of suspicious activity reports to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2004 almost triple those in 2003, according to a report by the FBI released in...

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