FBI announces mortgage fraud arrests

Five dozen suspects rounded up in one day

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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.