Bank and mortgage fraud may involve several underlying offenses which can lead to convictions on multiple charges, imprisonment, and significant fines. These offenses may be perpetrated by individuals acting alone or be part of organized criminal activity involving multiple actors. Regardless of how many individuals are involved, any allegations of bank or mortgage fraud carry the potential of prison time, a criminal record, and adverse impact to future employment opportunities.
If you have been accused of bank or mortgage fraud, or you have been questioned in connection with an investigation that might give rise to these charges, it is important to be informed of your rights, potential defenses, the consequences of a conviction, and to seek the advice of an experienced and knowledgeable bank and mortgage fraud lawyer who can carefully examine the facts involved in your case and prepare an effective legal strategy for your defense.
At Delahunty & Edelman LLP, our team of attorneys are skilled and experienced in handling complex bank fraud and mortgage fraud defense cases in California and nationwide from our San Francisco office. If you have been accused of mortgage or banking fraud, contact us today at (415) 891-6210 for a complimentary evaluation of your matter.
Bank fraud is a federal offense that occurs when an individual uses deception, whether through identity theft, forgery, falsification of documents, fraudulent loans, stolen checks, or any other misrepresentation, to steal money or other property from a financial institution or its depositors.
Fraud relating to PPP loans, COVID relief funds, and SBA loans are also federal offenses. The perpetration of these offenses may also involve mail fraud or wire fraud.
Typically, these charges are brought in federal court, but the underlying offenses involved in bank fraud may also be prosecuted under the California Penal Code in state court.
Federal law imposes penalties for bank fraud of up to 30 years of imprisonment and fines of up to one million dollars.
Bank fraud is classified as a “crime involving moral turpitude,” which means that a conviction may also impact an individual’s future access to financial institutions and carry immigration consequences for non-citizens.
Mortgage fraud occurs when an individual or group of individuals engage in deception by an intentional misrepresentation or omission to induce the funding, purchase, or insurance of a mortgage loan or the terms relating to it.
Mortgage fraud is sometimes committed by individuals seeking to obtain a loan or more advantageous loan terms for themselves through some type of intentional misrepresentation. However, mortgage fraud is also commonly committed in a greater, more organized way through various mortgage fraud schemes. These mortgage fraud schemes may involve schemes that victimize homeowners and seniors, in addition to financial institutions. Such schemes include equity skimming, loan modification schemes, foreclosure rescue schemes, and home equity conversion mortgage (HECM) schemes.
Mortgage fraud and underlying offenses can be prosecuted under state law and federal law. As a federal offense, mortgage fraud may be prosecutable when the fraudulent misrepresentation or omission concerns the organization of a mortgage or as a securities fraud if the offense involves fraud related to a mortgage-backed security.
The potential penalties that may be imposed for a conviction related to mortgage fraud vary depending on the specific underlying charges. Because mortgage fraud commonly involves allegations of misrepresentations directed toward financial institutions, the penalty may include a maximum sentence of 30 years and a $1,000,000 fine. In general, these federal offenses are classified as felonies and carry the potential of significant fines and jail time.
If prosecuted under California state law, a defendant who is convicted of misdemeanor mortgage fraud may face up to $1,000 in fines and be sentenced to serve up to one year in prison. If convicted of felony mortgage fraud, defendants may be sentenced to up to three years in prison and be ordered to pay fines of up to $10,000. Convictions for mortgage fraud also result in deportation of green card holders and other non-citizens.
Allegations of bank fraud or mortgage fraud can lead to both state and federal criminal charges, significant fines, and imprisonment. Presenting an effective defense against these charges involves an in-depth analysis and understanding of the relevant facts.
At Delahunty & Edelman LLP, our team of attorneys are skilled and experienced in handling complex bank fraud and mortgage fraud defense cases in California and nationwide. If you have been accused of mortgage fraud, contact us today at (415) 891-6210 for a complimentary evaluation of your case.