The aftermath of the subprime mortgage meltdown has meant uncertain real estate markets nationwide and widespread wonder at what went wrong. Federal prosecutors have acted swiftly and forcefully to level accusations toward mortgage industry professionals and make sure that allegations get a full public airing before that individual gets his or her first glimpse of due process.
The Minneapolis Division of the FBI issued a press release in June announcing that a real estate appraiser and real estate agent from Maple Grove were facing multiple counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering in connection with nearly $2 million in mortgages and 28 separate properties. The U.S. Attorney alleges that the defendants used fraud to secure mortgage loan proceeds and concealed payments to themselves by diverting them to co-conspirators at a local mortgage brokerage company.
Federal investigators have tremendous resources at their disposal, including the ability to collaborate with other members of the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Input from federal agencies and regulatory authorities, as well as state and local law enforcement, can lead to civil enforcement actions and an appearance before a federal grand jury.
Individuals who find themselves in the glare of a financial fraud investigation need immediate and comprehensive knowledge about their constitutional rights and legal options. The civil penalties and criminal consequences are far too big to ignore – in this case, both individuals are facing a maximum incarceration of several decades. Responding aggressively and assertively to overreaching charges or baseless suspicions can make a considerable difference in the severity of charges and the final legal outcome.