Individuals who work in any industry affected by financing are subject to a number of state and federal laws. Any violation of those laws can land an individual in prison and subject him or her to significant fines. These penalties can be devastating, not to mention the damage it can do to one’s business and reputation. Therefore, those who are accused of financial crimes need to know the basics of the laws they face and how to defend themselves against zealous federal prosecutors.
This may be especially true for those who are accused of some sort of mortgage fraud. Simply put, this is because mortgage fraud cases can be enormously complex, and they can involve a number of players. There’s also a whole host of ways in which mortgage fraud can occur. So where do you start developing your criminal defense? By knowing how mortgage fraud can occur.
Although mortgage fraud can involve giving false information in order to secure a property, another type of mortgage fraud involves deceptive practices for the purpose of obtaining a profit. We’re going to take a quick look at the latter. Here, anyone in the mortgage process can be accused of wrongdoing. Real estate appraisers and agents may be accused of inflating values on recently purchased homes in hopes of securing a quick sale at a large profit, an investor may be alleged to have used straw buyers may be used to skim equity off of a property, and bankers and investors might be accused of generating and/or securing loans on properties that don’t exist thereby putting the loan amount straight into their pockets.
These are just a few of the many types of mortgage fraud of which you might be accused. The alleged crimes might sound simple enough, but the truth of the matter is that a conviction for mortgage fraud can be very harsh. Fraudulent mortgage activity in violation of federal law can result in up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Although most people are able to escape the maximum penalties, the stark reality is that if you’ve been accused of some type of mortgage fraud, then there’s a very real possibility that you could be facing prison time if convicted.
So what are you to do? First, analyze the legal elements that the prosecution has to prove in your specific case. These will vary depending on the specific type of crime alleged, but most allegations of fraud require a prosecutor to show that you intended to essentially trick someone for your own financial gain. Proving intent is a difficult endeavor, so you might be able to use documentary and testimonial evidence to play in your favor here. By carefully analyzing other elements of laws in question, you might be able to develop sound legal strategies that protect you and your future.
Second, you might be able to raise evidentiary issues that jeopardize the prosecution’s case. If you have a strong legal argument to get crucial evidence suppressed at trial, then you stand a better chance of negotiating a favorable plea deal or maybe even getting your charges dismissed. In these cases, you could even obtain an acquittal if your case goes to trial.
These are just a couple of the wider approaches you can take to your case. The truth of the matter, though, is that you don’t need a criminal defense that paints in broad strokes. Instead, you need a custom-tailored criminal defense that will target areas of the case that can truly make a difference. For that, you need someone who is experienced with federal law and dealing with federal prosecutors as well as white collar crime cases. An attorney who is realistic with you can help you craft the legal strategy that is best for you while at the same time preparing you for whatever lies ahead.