Several times we have written posts about the shifting priorities of the FBI and federal prosecutors in the Jacksonville, Florida area and throughout Florida, from immigration and terrorism related cases years ago to securities fraud to mortgage fraud. It seems you can follow the latest sensational crime and economic stories to see where federal prosecutors are going to focus next. Recently, the failing housing market and increasing foreclosure rates have inundated the news. As a result, we wrote that the FBI and federal prosecutors are allocating significant resources to investigating, indicting and prosecuting mortgage fraud cases. We also noted that the state of Florida seems to be the focal point for mortgage fraud cases.
We do not expect the trend towards more mortgage fraud prosecutions to change any time soon. A recent FBI report noted that mortgage fraud is getting worse, and the Obama administration has made mortgage fraud cases a top priority. In fact, mortgage fraud cases have become such a priority that certain members of Congress have expressed concern that other white collar crimes may not receive the attention from the FBI and federal prosecutors they deserve due to the classic limited resources problem.
Reports of mortgage fraud by lenders increased 36% in 2008, and financial institutions estimate that they lost $1.4 billion in 2008 due to mortgage fraud, a 83% increase from 2007. With numbers like those, it is no surprise that the government is allocating significant funds for law enforcement to use to combat mortgage fraud. As a result, we should see more federal mortgage fraud cases in the Jacksonville, Florida area and throughout Florida in 2009 and beyond, at least until the next major trend takes over.
In order for a criminal defense attorney to properly defend a person or corporation who is being investigated for or has been charged with a mortgage fraud crime, it certainly helps to have experience in the area and specialized knowledge of the mortgage business. If you have any questions about mortgage fraud or a pending mortgage fraud case, feel free to contact us for a free consultation.