In the wake of America’s mortgage crisis, federal and state officials are pouring vast resources into prosecution of real estate, bank, and mortgage fraud. Authorities are under enormous pressure to arrest, indict, convict, and ultimately sentence individuals involved in real estate crime, and this trend will likely continue for several years to come.
Fortunately, the experienced California defense lawyers of The Kavinoky Law Firm are here to help. A skilled California attorney from The Kavinoky Law Firm can mount an aggressive defense to any real estate, mortgage or bank fraud charge. We stand strong between the accused and the government and popular opinion.
Authorities focusing on alleged frauds and schemes in the real estate business sometimes sweep up innocent victims in their net. Recent financial schemes victimize individuals and businesses, including low-income families lured into home loans they cannot afford, legitimate lenders saddled with over-inflated mortgages, and honest real-estate investors fleeced out of their investment dollars. Officials are relentless in their pursuit of indictments in this area of the law, and they simply “follow the money.” Some common real estate fraud schemes include:
- Property Flipping — A buyer pays a low price for property, and then resells it quickly for a much higher price. This is perfectly legal unless it involves false statements to the lender, or another type of fraud.
- Two Sets of Settlement Statements — One settlement statement is prepared and provided to the seller, accurately reflecting the true selling price of the property. A second fraudulent statement is given to the lender, showing a highly inflated purported selling price. The lender provides a loan in excess of the property value, and after the loans are settled, the proceeds are divided among the conspirators.
- Fraudulent Qualifications — Real estate agents, loan officers, and others assist buyers who would not otherwise qualify, by fabricating their employment history, credit record, or income. This is perhaps the most common type of real estate fraud currently under investigation.
The income earned from these types of real estate fraud schemes is often laundered to hide the money from the government. Money laundering is simply a process of trying to make illegally earned income appear to be legitimately earned. IRS and FBI agents follow the money and collect evidence to prove applicable tax and/or money laundering violations.
Once they have obtained the evidence, the agents forward their investigation to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. Even if a criminal investigation is not warranted, the government can take civil action. For example, each year the IRS audits thousands of tax returns involving individuals and entities associated with the real-estate business.
Money Laundering and Tax Crimes – Individuals targeted in real estate fraud investigations invariably find themselves accused of money laundering and tax crimes. Authorities will move quickly to seize assets, order assets to be forfeited, freeze bank accounts, and attempt, quite simply, to put the accused individual completely out of business. Keep in mind that all this occurs before a finding of guilt by either a judge or jury.
Don’t let this happen to you! If you are being investigated, or if you or a loved one has been formally charged with any sort of real estate crime, call an experienced attorney from The Kavinoky Law Firm immediately. Once we receive your case, our team of lawyers and staff will aggressively confront the government on your behalf, and fight for your rights. If you’re facing a charge of real estate fraud, money laundering, bank fraud, or mortgage fraud, contact a knowledgeable California attorney from The Kavinoky Law Firm today for a free consultation.