Hundreds Charged in Fraud Sweep

More than 400 people in the real estate industry have been indicted since March, including dozens in the last two days, in a U.S. Justice Department/Federal Bureau of Investigation crackdown on mortgage fraud.

The FBI says the scams cost home owners and other borrowers more than $1 billion.

Since March 1, 406 people have been arrested in the sting dubbed “Operation Malicious Mortgage,” resulting from 144 cases across the country. Sixty people were arrested on Wednesday alone. Officials have identified 10 “mortgage fraud hotspots” nationwide in California, Colorado, Texas, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Georgia, and Florida.

Named in the cases were housing developers, mortgage lenders and brokers, lawyers, real estate practitioners and appraisers, says Sharon Ormsby, section chief in charge of financial crimes for the FBI.

Source: The Associated press, Lara Jakes Jordan 6/19