FBI boosts mortgage fraud caseload

Numbers suggest bureau not keeping up with rise in suspected crimes

The FBI said it investigated 818 mortgage fraud cases in 2006, winning 204 convictions and collecting $389 million in restitution and $231 million in fines.

The number of cases investigated was up sharply from 436 in 2003, but other statistics suggest that the FBI investigates only a small percentage of mortgage fraud cases and is not keeping pace with the growth in suspected fraud.