The umbrella of white collar crime describes a bevy of criminal offenses, primarily motivated personal financial gain. The most common forms of white collar crimes are probably tax evasion, money laundering or insider trading. Over the last decade, however, mortgage fraud has topped the list, with prosecutors cracking down on violators.
In one such case, a mortgage broker from Sacramento who was accused of deceiving lenders was recently sentenced to more than 14 years in prison. The former broker was arrested in Folsom County shortly after fleeing the area in February 2009. He was arrested for allegedly pocketing $7 million from an out-of-state mortgage lender. This mortgage broker was also accused of securing more than $12 million in fraudulent loans.
The now sentenced broker was working at a wealthy management firm at the time the accusations came forward. The now infamous firm is accused of being a front for a mortgage fraud Ponzi scheme that allegedly collected more than $100 million in five states. Numerous members of Loomis Wealth have been the targets of federal prosecutors in recent years.
In many cases, people may not understand how aggressively white collar crimes are prosecuted, particularly at the federal level. White-collar crimes, including mortgage fraud, come with big penalties. As prosecutors face significant public pressure to swiftly secure a conviction and a weighty sentence for those accused of white collar crimes, it has become increasingly important to work hard to build a solid criminal defense.
Often times, prosecutors are willing to make plea agreements for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those higher up the food chain. Other times, prosecutors are simply willing to make a plea agreement in order to encourage someone to admit guilt. The specific agreement that a federal prosecutor might be willing to make is going to depend heavily on the specifics of the case, so it's important to make sure that the plea bargain is indeed fair before making any life-altering decisions.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle, "14-year prison term in California mortgage fraud scheme," Sep. 11, 2012