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California mortgage fraud results in federal indictment

In the United States, the U.S. Attorney's Office prosecutes most white collar crimes. During the federal investigation preceding the prosecution, U.S. Attorneys will work closely with federal agents to gather evidence. When the prosecutor feels the government has enough evidence to proceed, the suspect in the white-collar crime will be brought before a grand jury. If the jury finds that the evidence supports charges, the accused will be indicted.

Following a recent federal investigation, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Southern California announced that two women from Contra Costa County were among seven indicted on criminal charges stemming from a mortgage fraud scam. A federal grand jury indicted the 38-year-old from Richmond and the 46-year-old from San Pablo on charges including mail and wire fraud, as well as making false statements in a scam involving the purchase of homes.

According to the federal indictment, the scheme involved a developer who built and sold real estate in California, two California licensed real estate sellers who recruited straw buyers for the properties, two out of state parties who assisted the group by moving cash and concealing funds, and the two women mentioned above. According to the complaint, the women's role was to help prepare fraudulent loan documentation for the purchases.

As with any criminal prosecution, there are many unknowns in federal white collar crime prosecutions. From the beginning, it is vital that those accused of white-collar crimes seek the assistance of an attorney. The prosecution of white-collar crime can vary dramatically, with some insiders becoming whistleblowers, while others become defendants. How these decisions play out is just as much a result of a good defense as it is a fair prosecution.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Two Contra Costa County women indicted in mortgage fraud scheme," Rick Hurd, April 03, 2013

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