Mortgage loan agreement paperwork and keysThe crime of federal mortgage fraud can be complicated and difficult for anyone to understand. It is not specifically described or referenced within any statutory law and only exists within legal precedent, which is not accessible to most people.

If you or someone you know has committed the charge of or is being arrested for Mortgage fraud in South Florida, it is important to contact an experienced white collar attorney.

What is a Federal Mortgage Fraud Crime in Fort Lauderdale?

The federal crime of mortgage fraud can be described in two ways.

First and foremost, mortgage fraud on the federal level can be described as any type of fraudulent activity as it relates to the process of acquiring, paying off, or holding a mortgage.

Secondly, mortgage fraud can be described in terms of precedent and relevant statutes that don’t directly involve the crime.

In terms of federal statutes, the guidelines for mortgage fraud can be better understood by analyzing U.S. statutory law regarding financial criminal activity, and by describing statutory law that pertains to credit fraud, HUD and FHA loan fraud. These are not all of the statutory laws that can be considered federal Mortgage fraud, however they are the most relevant and commonly related to the topic.

It is a crime under federal legal statute 18 U.S.C. § 225 for a person to undergo federal crimes enterprise of an amount totaling over $5,000,000 in receipts or bills over the course of any 24-month period.

When this is combined with statutory law under 18 U.S.C. § 1006:

It is a crime for a person who is an officer, agent or employee of or connected in any capacity within a variety of enterprises (such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Housing Finance Board, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and many more) to intent to defraud any such institution or deceive any person or agent to then create an exchange or sign a bill of exchange or mortgage with intent to defraud the United States or any agency thereof, or any corporation, institution, or association.

These two separate statutes have led to several cases creating precedent to what courts commonly determine to be a federal “Mortgage fraud” crime.

For example: United States v. Lefkowitz, 125 F.3d 608 (8th Cir. 1997) case exemplifies mortgage fraud.

In this case, Lefkowitz (the defendant in a mortgage fraud case) convinced his investors to invest in moderate-low income housing under pretenses that he was financially stable and well suited to handle the financial endeavour.

When he eventually left the company, all of the assets including the properties in question were eventually foreclosed or left unbuilt. He was ultimately convicted of forty-five counts of mail and wire fraud, which was referred to as mortgage fraud by the federal government although, due to lacking statutory definitions, charged as wire and mail fraud.

In addition, under federal statute 18 U.S.C. § 1010 (2007):

It is a crime for a person to:

  • for the purpose of obtaining any loan or advance of credit from any person, partnership, association, or corporation
  • with the intent that such loan or advance of credit shall be offered to or accepted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for insurance, or
  • for the purpose of obtaining any extension or renewal of any loan, advance of credit, or mortgage insured by such Department, or the acceptance, release, or substitution of any security on such a loan, advance of credit, or
  • for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of such Department,
  • make, pass, utter, or publish any statement, knowing the same to be false, or
  • alter, forge, or counterfeit any instrument, paper, or document, or
  • utter, publish, or pass as true any instrument, paper, or document, knowing it to have been altered, forged, or counterfeited, or
  • willfully overvalue any security, asset, or income.

So what does this all mean?

While mortgage fraud may not be a statutorily defined crime, it still has several consequences involved with it and can be charged under several other statutory laws. A South Florida mortgage fraud attorney can explain all of this in more detail.


Consequences of mortgage fraud could include the subsequent punishments of financial crimes enterprise, charges related to credit institutions fraud, and FHA loan fraud, and more.

If charged with federal Mortgage fraud in South Florida, the lower end of penalties include:

  • 1 to 10 years in federal prison depending on the crime
  • $1,000,000 in fines

If charged with federal Mortgage fraud in South Florida, the higher end of penalties include:

  • Up to 30 years or even life in federal prison
  • Up to $30 million in fines

While these punishments can seem like a large range, it must be understood that the range can include some lower, or even higher punishments depending on the specific circumstances of your federal mortgage fraud case.


At Rossen Law Firm we have a team of experienced federal criminal attorneys ready to tackle your case. The first call you should make if you’re being investigated for or charged with Federal Mortgage Fraud in the South Florida area is to our team of skilled lawyers.

An experienced attorney will help you to better understand and navigate the intricacies that come with a case such as mortgage fraud and will fight to help you achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

Federal Mortgage Fraud Defense Strategies

  • False accusation: it is possible to be falsely accused of mortgage fraud, which if proven in court can lower sentencing or get the case dropped altogether.
  • Good faith: if you are determined to have acted in good faith while committing the crime, it can significantly help your case. For example, perhaps you made a mistake in filling out the paperwork and accidentally filed false information that you truly believed to be true.
  • Ignorance: if you were ignorant in doing the crime, and did not fully understand the actions you were taking, that can also be used as a possible defense in fighting your case.

We handle Federal Mortgage Fraud cases of all types. We know how to protect your rights and provide you with a personalized and aggressive defense to your federal charges.

Federal Mortgage Fraud is intricate and made up by several different subsequent federal statutes. It can be difficult for any person to fully understand without devoting your life to federal criminal law. Our experienced team of Fort Lauderdale federal mortgage fraud lawyers will fight for you and handle your case with the utmost discretion and care.

In addition we offer FREE strategy sessions – above and beyond a free consultation – so you know how we’ll work to get the best possible result on your case for you. Contact our office to get started.


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