Industry News

‘Fraud’ a dirty word for law-abiding realty pros

Illegal acts muddy waters for entire industry

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Just the mention of fraud can conjure feelings of fear and loathing among consumers. Fraud can muddy the waters for law-abiding professionals, tarnish company reputations and send customers scurrying for an exit. Some real estate-related fraud rings have scored millions of dollars before the law caught up with them. The schemes can be complex, involving several people and companies, and the lure of quick cash has inspired many con artists to try their hand at deceptive and illegal real estate practices. The Internal Revenue Service has reported an increasing number of criminal investigations of real estate-related fraud over the past several years, and several other federal agencies – including the Secret Service and FBI – also participate in some investigations and enforcement actions. While there is a perception that sentencing is typically light for white-collar crimes, the average months to serve for real estate-related fraud has climbed from 24 months in fiscal year ...