FBI boosts mortgage fraud caseload

Numbers suggest bureau not keeping up with rise in suspected crimes

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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.