Industry NewsMortgage

41 indicted in Ohio mortgage fraud

Prosecutors say scheme left 358 homes in foreclosure

Ohio authorities announced indictments of 41 people and four companies accused of engaging in fraudulent transactions on the purchase of 453 Cleveland-area homes involving loans totaling $44 million.In what was described as one of the nation's largest mortgage fraud cases, Uri Gofman and 10 other defendants were indicted on mortgage fraud-related offenses including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony. The other 34 individuals and companies were indicted on mortgage fraud-related offenses, prosecutors said.Gofman allegedly recruited family, friends and others to invest in his real estate company, Real Asset Fund, started with seed money from an investor who transferred funds from a bank in Latvia, prosecutors said.The scheme involved straw buyers, false claims of home improvements in conjunction with refinancings, and the subsequent sale of houses to unqualified buyers with the assistance of real estate agents, mortgage brokers and title companies, prosecuto...