Real Estate Fraud
You may have played a role in a real estate deal that went sour – or unintentionally found yourself involved in activities the government claims were fraudulent — and now a prosecutor is trying to tie your situation in with federal criminal fraud.
If you are indicted for real estate fraud, you will need to hire an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
What You Need To Know About Federal Real Estate Fraud
The changing landscape of the US real estate market after the housing downturn has set the stage for the many different kinds of mortgage-related fraud cases tried today in federal court. And the federal government has stepped up its efforts to investigate and prosecute this wide array of situations.
Federal real estate fraud involves any false representation that is intended to deceive someone else during a real estate transaction and/or defraud banks.
Some common examples of real estate fraud include:
- Predatory lending
- Illegal flipping
- Using false information, or somebody else’s personal information, to obtain a mortgage
- Equity skimming
- Straw buyer schemes – Using one person’s identity and credit to obtain financing, while another person is actually the one to take possession after closing
Several scams target people in danger of foreclosure:
- Foreclosure prevention schemes – Companies that fraudulently convince people they can keep them from foreclosure, and then charge significant fees without providing any actual help.
- Phony mortgage counseling – Companies that charge high fees for helping homeowners with activities that are easy or free to perform.
- Rent-to-buy schemes – Companies that fraudulently convince homeowners they will take the title of their home and in exchange they can live in their home, pay rent and buy it back later. In reality, the terms are too expensive to buy back the home so the homeowner loses their house while the company takes the money the homeowner put into it.
Even if you played a small role in a real estate fraud scheme, you can face years in prison. Aggressive federal prosecutors will also try to add additional charges for mail fraud and wire fraud, since so many transactions involve information being sent through FedEx or email. Prosecutors will also attempt to add federal bank fraud charges or money laundering charges.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against a fraud charge, you will be facing inflexible laws and a determined US prosecutor. You will need an attorney who can help you determine all of your options and achieve the best outcome for your circumstances.
United States Code
Questions? Contact us today.
If you are charged with a federal crime, the consequences can be devastating. Fienman Defense will fight tenaciously to protect your constitutional rights. We will guide you through a court system that can be complex and intimidating, and provide you with the strongest possible defense.