Industry News

FBI tightens cuffs on real estate fraud

Undercover investigations lead to arrests

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Six individuals in North Carolina were charged last week for their roles in a mortgage fraud ring that cost lenders up to $130 million in potential losses, according to the FBI. The Bureau in 2002 began sending undercover agents into seven organizations involved in the fraud ring, which led to the identification of the fraudulent loans. The investigation was one of several the FBI highlighted to show progress made by its ongoing initiative to crack down on financial institution fraud. FBI investigators target a variety of financial fraud schemes, including mortgage and loan fraud, insider fraud, financial institution failure investigations, identity theft, check fraud and check kiting. Mortgage fraud is a growing problem in the real estate industry, with more cases coming to the surface in recent years. Perpetrators often are professional real estate agents, mortgage brokers, title agents, appraisers and attorneys, and the complex crimes can cost financial companies millions of dol...