FBI announces mortgage fraud arrests

Five dozen suspects rounded up in one day

In an acknowledged bid for publicity to deter future crimes, the FBI today announced it had charged 406 people involved in 144 unrelated mortgage fraud cases since March 1 as part of an effort dubbed "Operation Malicious Mortgage."

The FBI said most of the cases involved lending fraud, foreclosure rescue scams or mortgage-related bankruptcy schemes, causing about $1 billion in losses. Five dozen people were arrested in 15 judicial districts on Wednesday alone.