Twelve people in the finance industry used fake identities and bogus documents to swindle financial institutions out of more than $9 million in residential mortgages, officials charged Thursday.
The schemers allegedly bought dozens of residential properties with sham mortgages.
“The U.S. economy is still reeling from the damage done by mortgage fraud schemes like the one unraveled today," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “These charges expose the corrupt conduct of industry insiders who allegedly manipulated the mortgage markets to fraudulently obtain millions in loans.”
The charges included bank and wire fraud as well as conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. The case was investigated by the state attorney general, postal inspectors, state banking officials, the secret service and the FBI.
“This is exactly the type of criminal activity that was caused by - and contributed to - the terrible mortgage crisis facing our nation,” New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said. “These defendants were allegedly able to obtain millions of dollars in home loans for phantom buyers precisely because obtaining these loans was far too easy at the time.”