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Las Vegas Mortgage Fraud Lawyer

Mortgage Fraud Lawyer In Las Vegas, Nevada

Nevada often sees mortgage fraud in the news due to the economic downturn and declining home values. It involves various deceptive activities to secure a mortgage from a bank or financial institution when the borrower doesn’t qualify. For instance, loan officers may assist unqualified individuals in obtaining loans.

Fraud often occurs when falsified documents or false/incomplete information is used on a mortgage application. Mortgage fraud can involve the purchaser, inspector, or real estate agent, with each transaction being treated as a separate crime. If you’re facing mortgage fraud charges in Nevada, it’s crucial to work with a skilled and experienced Las Vegas mortgage fraud lawyer who can assess your case and provide a comprehensive defense strategy to potentially reduce or dismiss the charges. Contact the Spartacus Law Firm now for a consultation and learn more about how we can help defend you.

Understanding Mortgage Fraud In Nevada

In a general sense, mortgage fraud in Nevada refers to the act of engaging in a deceitful mortgage transaction. The primary motive behind this fraudulent activity is usually financial gain. Mortgages, being complex transactions involving multiple steps, typically involve various participants, such as:

  • A homebuyer
  • A homeowner
  • A loan officer
  • A mortgage broker/ lender
  • A real estate agent
  • An escrow agent
  • An appraiser

Fraudulent mortgage transactions can be perpetrated by a single player or a group of individuals colluding together. Regardless of the scale, any dishonest act that significantly impacts a mortgage lending transaction can be classified as criminal fraud.

Federal Loan Fraud Charges

The statute’s primary focus lies in identifying specific public and private entities to which it applies. Irrespective of the agency involved, 18 U.S.C. § 1014 makes it a criminal offense to knowingly provide false information to any of the listed agencies with the intention of influencing their decision-making process.

Consider this scenario: imagine someone applying for a loan from an “agricultural credit association” and deliberately providing false information about their monthly income and asset value. Such deceptive statements could lead to a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1014.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) will conduct investigations into allegations of bank fraud and mortgage fraud. In numerous instances, financial institution fraud is perpetrated by an employee of the bank or a lender against an actual customer. This type of crime can involve embezzlement and identity theft. Mortgage fraud typically occurs when individuals seek to profit from deceptive practices.

Our federal criminal defense attorney specializes in dealing with a range of common offenses. These include foreclosure rescue schemes, fraudulently obtained home equity conversion mortgages, fraudulent commercial real estate loans, loan modification schemes, equity skimming, unlawful property flipping, and silent second mortgages. If you find yourself facing allegations of mortgage fraud in Nevada, it’s important to understand that you could potentially face criminal charges for a wide variety of federal offenses, including:

  • 18 U.S. Code § 1343 – Wire Fraud
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1344 – Bank Fraud
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1956 – Money Laundering
  • 18 U.S. Code § 371 – Conspiracy
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1001 – Submitting False Statements
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1014 – False Loan or Credit Application to Federal Agency

Types of Mortgage Fraud

Fraud For Profit

Mortgage fraud is commonly perpetrated by insiders who exploit their expertise and authority. The FBI’s Financial Institution Fraud Investigations Bureau reveals that a significant portion of today’s mortgage fraud cases involves collusion among industry insiders, including appraisers, attorneys, bank officers, loan originators, mortgage brokers, and others in the housing industry. These individuals engaged in fraudulent profit schemes have no interest in obtaining housing; rather, they manipulate the lending process to unlawfully obtain equity and cash from homeowners or lenders.

Fraud For Housing

In the pursuit of obtaining or retaining homeownership, borrowers might resort to unlawful activities. For instance, borrowers may provide false information about their assets and income on a mortgage loan application or attempt to influence an appraiser into manipulating the value of their property.

Common Mortgage Fraud Schemes

The Nevada Attorney General issued a statement regarding the most widespread fraudulent mortgage schemes in the state. Here are some of the notable ones:

False Loan Modification Schemes

This fraudulent scheme targets distressed homeowners by offering false promises of home refinancing, principal loan reduction, and foreclosure prevention. Perpetrated by private entities unrelated to mortgage lenders, these companies often demand substantial upfront fees but fail to deliver on their commitments, leaving homeowners in a more precarious situation than before.

False Loan Applications

This happens when potential homebuyers provide false or hide important information on their mortgage applications. The misleading details could involve their income, debts, identification, or intentions to fulfill the mortgage obligations. In some cases, loan officers may also deceive by misrepresenting the homebuyers’ information to ensure they receive a commission for closing the mortgage.

False Appraisals

This occurs when home sellers offer bribes or incentives to appraisers in order to inflate the value of the home. If the appraiser accepts the bribe, both the home seller and appraiser may face prosecution for violating NRS 205.372.

It is also a violation of NRS 205.372 to submit a mortgage document to the county recorder containing false information. Additionally, any person who knowingly receives funds from a fraudulent mortgage transaction is held accountable, regardless of whether they were directly involved in the mortgage.

Penalties For Mortgage Fraud Charges

Committing mortgage fraud in Nevada is considered a serious offense, classified as a category C felony. As a result, those found guilty of this crime face significant penalties, including:

  • 1 to 10 years in Nevada State Prison
  • Fines of up to $10,000

Convictions related to multiple fraudulent mortgage lending schemes may result in a classification as a category B felony, carrying with it the following penalty:

  • 3 to 20 years in Nevada State Prison
  • Fines of up to $50,000

Regardless of the level of conviction, the fraud victim will receive restitution, and each individual charge of fraud may incur a civil fine of up to $5,000.

Federal Charges For Mortgage Fraud

Mortgage fraud is a serious offense that is punishable both at the federal and state levels. On a federal scale, individuals may face charges such as wire fraud, mail fraud, or bank fraud. If found guilty, these charges carry their own set of penalties.

  • Bank Fraud – Up to 30 years in federal prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or some combination of these two penalties.
  • Wire Fraud – Up to 20 years in federal prison and fines determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Mail Fraud – Up to 20 years in federal prison and fines determined on a case-by-case basis.
Las Vegas Criminal Defense ATTORNEY

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Mortgage Frauds Reported And Investigated?

If a bank identifies a potentially fraudulent mortgage transaction, it can report it to local law enforcement through a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report). Based on this suspicion, law enforcement officials have the authority to investigate the activity using covert methods like wiretapping or undercover agents.

Can I Be Deported For Mortgage Fraud?

Violating NRS 205.372 can result in being charged with an aggravated felony, which falls under the category of deportable crimes. Non-U.S. citizens facing NRS 205.372 charges in Nevada should consider seeking the assistance of a Las Vegas mortgage fraud attorney who specializes in both immigration and criminal defense law. A skilled attorney may be able to effectively advocate for a change in the charge to a non-deportable offense or even have the case dismissed entirely.

What Are The Defenses To Mortgage Fraud Charges?

In the state of Nevada, mortgage fraud is classified as a crime of specific intent. Consequently, without sufficient evidence demonstrating a deliberate intention to commit this form of fraud, the conviction becomes implausible. Several valid defenses in such cases include:

  • The statement was not false – Truth is always a defense given the statute’s requirement that a false statement be made.
  • The statement was false, but not knowingly false – If your mortgage fraud lawyer can demonstrate that your actions were based on genuine mistake or lack of intent to convey false information, you cannot be found guilty under 18 U.S.C. §1014.
  • The statement was made to an individual or entity outside of the statute’s coverage – Take note of the extensive list of institutions mentioned in §1014’s text. Although the list is lengthy, it is not exhaustive. It is possible that the statement you are being charged with was made to an entity that falls outside the scope of the statute’s provisions.

The applicability of these defenses is contingent upon the specific facts of each case. It is highly recommended to consult with our Las Vegas mortgage fraud lawyer to determine the most effective strategy for defending yourself, taking into account the unique circumstances of your situation.

Contact Our Las Vegas Mortgage Fraud Lawyer Now

If you’re facing charges related to mortgage fraud in Nevada, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to understand the potential consequences and protect your rights. Contacting a skilled Las Vegas mortgage fraud lawyer should be your first move. At the Spartacus Law Firm, we have the expertise and experience to mount a strong defense and negotiate on your behalf within the federal court system. Federal mortgage fraud is a serious offense, and it’s important to have comprehensive legal representation. Don’t delay—reach out to us today to safeguard your future.

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