Los Angeles Mortgage Fraud Defense Attorneys
After the financial crisis of 2008, Congress passed tough new laws to help prosecute people who commit mortgage fraud and other financial crimes. And now gung-ho prosecutors who are looking to advance their careers are using these laws to go after anybody they can.
Innocent people often get caught up in prosecutorial zeal, including buyers and sellers who made an honest mistake and homebuyers who unknowingly did business with unscrupulous operators.
If you are charged with mortgage fraud in Los Angeles, you could be facing up to 30 years in federal prison. It’s crucial to find an experienced criminal defense attorney who fully understands the complexities of state and federal laws.
The experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP won’t be intimidated by anybody. We’ve successfully defended clients in mortgage fraud cases against the top federal prosecutors in the nation.
Call (213) 688-0460 to schedule a case review today.
Mortgage fraud is any intentional misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission used to purchase a home. Underwriters require accurate information when financing a home loan. That’s why mortgage laws are designed to prevent people from making intentionally false statements to defraud others out of their money.
When loan documents include inaccurate information, anyone involved in the transaction may be accused of loan fraud, including buyers, sellers, real estate agents, brokers, bankers, loan officers, appraisers, and notaries.
Buyers who unwittingly make a false statement on a loan application can be charged with a criminal offense even if the loan was denied or they never actually purchased a property.
Examples of mortgage fraud include:
- Falsifying loan documents
- Making false statements in a bankruptcy filing
- Fraudulent home appraisals
- Submitting forged loan documents
- False reporting of income
- Charging unreasonably high fees or commissions
- Listing home purchasing loans as refinancing
- Using holding companies to inflate property values
- Falsifying income and employment records
- Falsifying tax records
- Using a false or stolen identity
- Loan modification scams and equity skimming by people pretending to help homeowners with underwater mortgages
The Fraud Enforcement Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) gives federal authorities unprecedented power to go after anyone suspected of mortgage fraud. And even though there’s no specific federal offense for mortgage fraud, the law allows the government to prosecute offenders for bank fraud, which carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years and fines as high as $1 million.
Using FERA, the federal government may choose to prosecute mortgage fraud as one of following offenses, all of which carry long prison sentences and stiff fines:
Under California Penal Code 532, authorities may decide to prosecute mortgage fraud as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The maximum penalty is three years in state prison and fines up to $10,000.
Prosecutors will often pursue cases against regular people who simply made a mistake and pressure them into pleading guilty. Or they may threaten you with jail time to get you to point the finger at somebody else.
The experienced trial attorneys at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP go toe to toe against aggressive prosecutors all the time, and we won’t let them push you around. We’ll examine the prosecution’s case, go over witness statements, and develop the best strategy to protect your freedom.
Successful arguments that we’ve used to defend our clients in mortgage fraud cases include:
- You acted in good faith.
- You were falsely accused.
- The statements made in mortgage documents are true, correct, and accurate.
- You were an unknowing participant in someone else’s scheme.
- There is insufficient evidence for the prosecution to prove their case.
- The witnesses against you are unreliable.
- You were the victim of an illegal search or seizure.
- The police violated your constitutional rights.
Our firm’s managing partner Mark Werksman has been named one of LA’s “top white collar criminal defense attorneys.” And we’ve been recognized by the independent rating agency Super Lawyers for providing our clients with outstanding service.
If you’re facing charges of mortgage fraud, contact the white collar crime defense lawyers Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP by calling (213) 688-0460 and schedule a case review today.
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.