NJ The Reality of Federal Real Estate Fraud
The Increase in Federal Real Estate Fraud Investigations and Prosecutions
Real estate fraud is a pressing issue that continues to plague the United States. It takes many forms, including deceit, fraudulence, or misrepresentation concerning real estate’s acquisition, sale or financing. When a federally insured lending institution like a bank or mortgage lender is part of the fraudulent scheme, it becomes federal real estate fraud. The prevalence of such cases has forced the government to step in and handle the rise in investigations and prosecutions of fraudulent activities falling under the category of federal real estate schemes.
Various types of real estate fraud typically occur today, with straw buyer loans being one of them. In this case, an investor cannot secure a loan because they lack financial qualifications. They then look for a straw buyer who buys property on their behalf without any interest; once they buy it back at inflated prices using corrupt title companies plus appraisers among other professionals involved in the scheme, they make their profits illegally.
Inflated appraisals also take place when investors use straw buyers to purchase property sold numerous times before one last purchase where it’s grossly overpriced. Lenders are often left with unclosed loans due to illegitimately inflated assets resulting from dishonest transactions involving fake identities and multiple stakeholders collaborating in crime.
Fraudulent brokers establish bogus borrowers and properties only to obtain high profits on loan transactions completed without collateral through escrows maintained by deceitful individuals creating non-existent identities barely traceable back to them; hence such schemes have no actual proof involving bogus credit histories besides home addresses among other identities used for arranging financing that is later found out to be just air loans.
Equity skimming is another prevalent form of real estate fraud committed where an investor uses invalid credit reports designed for obtaining straw buyer loans. At closing time, straw buyers cede all rights to the property using a quit claim deed in favor of investors intending to rent it out continuously until foreclosure proceedings begin after some months.
Subsequently, those who commit such fraud face severe consequences when convicted, including hefty fines and lengthy prison sentences. Depending on the severity of the crime committed, any convicted individual could serve up to a maximum of 30 years in federal prison for felony charges or one year for a misdemeanor charge. To make matters worse, certain federal fraud schemes often attract fines ranging from as low as $1000 to an enormous $1 million, depending on whether the offense is a felony or misdemeanor.
If there were any financial damages resulting from fraudulent activities committed during real estate transactions, payments made as part of restitution should compensate mortgage lenders affected within that timeline. A minimum period of twelve months’ probation may also set up for any offender charged and already convicted of specific real estate fraud crimes. This period is usually served immediately upon their release from jail along with drug tests amid stringent conditions of regular reporting back to probation officers without committing new offenses that would revoke their parole status.
It’s important to note that those faced with real estate fraud allegations need not remain in panic mode because various legal defenses exist at the state and federal levels that could help mitigate penalties based on evidence presented before a court. An experienced legal expert working towards exonerating them would analyze all available facts and argue their client’s lack of intent towards fraudulency, alleviating penalties associated with these forms of crimes in courts lawfully.
In conclusion, knowing about different types of fraudulent activities involving purchasing or selling real estate properties keeps you vigilant and knowledgeable enough to avoid being either a victim or an unwitting culprit hindering lawful business dealings. While there are punishments for committing such crimes against real estate transactions currently enforced by relevant authorities after conviction plus sentencing without reprieve never pass up seeking reliable legal representation aimed at absolving any charges leveled against you whatsoever; it’s your first line of defense towards avoiding judicial findings potentially hampering your future endeavors since they come with lifelong ramifications beyond prison time or hefty fines.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS