A 49-year-old man pleaded guilty on Sept. 2 to a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The man founded a mortgage broker business called Great American Equity Mortgage that from August 2002 to June 2008 would defraud lenders. This was done by providing false information on mortgage applications.
For example, the amount of income and value of assets owned would be inflated. Appraisals that were done on properties purchased by applicants would be overstated to help borrowers obtain a larger loan. Supporting documents were also falsified to conform to the misrepresentations provided on the loans. The fraud was carried out with the help of people connected to Great American Equity Mortgage. Some of the people involved were former employees at Century Three Home Equity where the man used to work.
As part of a plea agreement reached in the case, the man may serve as little as five years in prison. He could have been sentenced to up to 30 years, and the actual sentence is determined by the person's criminal history as well as the seriousness of the crime. A fine of up to $1 million may also be imposed at sentencing, which is scheduled for January 2015.
Someone accused of mortgage fraud faces serious charges. Penalties can include lengthy prison sentences. A criminal defense attorney may be able to review evidence in the case and help negotiate a plea bargain to reduce the prison sentence or keep a defendant out of prison completely. An attorney may also be able to cast doubt on the case during the trial phase of a case.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Allegheny County man pleads guilty in mortgage fraud scheme", Jim Boyle, September 05, 2014