Seven current and former police officers and an FBI agent have been charged in a federal mortgage fraud indictment that claims they were involved in a $16.5 million mortgage scam.
Atlanta mortgage fraud attorneys noted that this Florida case is unusual in that most of the parties facing charges are law enforcement officers. Attorneys who acted as mortgage brokers were also charged in the same alleged scheme.
The officers, attorneys, mortgage brokers and others are charged with conspiring to use false income records, job descriptions, bank statements and loan applications. All of this was done to fool lenders into making loans to the group between 2004 and 2007.
Michael Walsh, the attorney for alleged ringleader and police officer Joseph Guaracino, said the information submitted for the loans was truthful. “What Joe and the other cops did was legitimate. We know what we submitted, and the records were clean. We can’t say what the mortgage brokers did, exactly — except they committed the fraud.”
Guaracino has a website where he claims that the Home Buyers Group has…
“purchased, remodeled and resold over 100 million dollars in residential property.”
The indictment claims that he located properties and negotiated the sales of 38 properties on behalf of the seven other current and former cops.
The FBI agent included in the indictment, Robert DePriest, is the coordinator of an FBI hazardous materials team. Standard FBI procedure is to place agents on adminstrative leave without pay after being indicted. But in this case DePriest will remain on the job because FBI supervisors believe he did not break the law.
- Source: Miami Herald “Mortgage fraud case is bogus, Broward cops’ lawyers say” July 2, 2010 aar