Successful Mortgage Fraud Investigation Pays Off

April 7, 2008

Successful Mortgage Fraud Investigation Pays Off

The Broward Sheriff’s Office received more than $270,000 for its part in a complex mortgage fraud investigation that resulted in the arrest of 11 people, including eight Broward County residents. The investigation was conducted in 2003 and 2004 by the South Florida Organized Fraud Task Force, which includes the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Secret Service and BSO. The case involved the suspects illegally obtaining about 36 properties in Miami-Dade, Broward and Lee counties from 1999 to 2004.

The eight Broward County residents were indicted in 2004 on 53 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and tax fraud. The scheme netted more than $4 million in property and funds, with participants either selling fraudulently obtained properties to unsuspecting victims or obtaining loans secured by the properties. They defrauded more than 100 victims, including property owners, lenders, title insurance companies and unsuspecting home buyers.

BSO’s share of the money was separate from the restitution awarded to victims. It will be used for similar investigations in the future.

“We will turn this money around and use it against criminals,” Sheriff Al Lamberti said.

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