State of the address time often means the announcement of a new unit or task force to address crimes that have been occurring with increasing regularity for some time prior to the announcement. The 2012 speech was no exception. In last month’s address, President Obama announced the creation of a new unit designed to investigate fraud crimes. Specifically, the new unit will apparently be focusing on mortgage fraud and securities fraud cases.
The new unit will be referred to as the Unit on Mortgage Origination and Security Abuses. it is not exactly clear why this new unit was created when President Obama announced the creation of an ostensibly similar task force back in 2009- the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. It could be that this new task force/unit is more specialized in the areas of greater need and is a subunit of that larger task force.
The new unit will be comprised of state and federal law enforcement officials. Among other duties, they will be looking at people they allege contributed to the financial crisis by combining and selling mortgage-backed securities.
In Florida, where mortgage fraud and securities fraud are alleged to be as prevalent as anywhere in the country, this could certainly translate into more investigations, arrests and prosecutions of people involved in the real estate, mortgage and financial industries. As criminal defense lawyers in the Jacksonville and greater North Florida area, we have seen an increase in the number of people arrested for mortgage fraud-related activities. It would not surprise us to see those mortgage fraud-related arrests continue to increase with President Obama’s recent comments.