As part of Operation Stolen Dreams, the government’s push against mortgage fraud, federal authorities investigated 1,215 criminal defendants allegedly responsible for more than $2.3 billion in losses and made 485 arrests. Unlike previous mortgage fraud sweeps, Operation Stolen Dreams focused on federal criminal cases as well as civil enforcement, recovering money for victims and increasing cooperation with state and local partners. The operation involved the FBI, U.S. attorneys’ offices, U.S. Trustee Program, HUD, Treasury, Federal Trade Commission, IRS, and many others.
In Las Vegas, 123 defendants were charged, convicted, or sentenced as a result of the operation. Most of the defendants worked in the local real estate industry including 30 loan officers, 24 real estate agents, 6 loan processors, 5 settlement agents, 4 mortgage brokers, 2 appraisers, and 1 builder. Those defendants are accused of engaging in hundreds of fraudulent transactions with “straw” buyers or people who use someone else’s name to buy a house. These transactions caused a gross total loss of more than $246 million.
Joshua D. Carlson, Esq.