United States Attorney Dennis K. Burke joined members of the Arizona Financial Fraud Task Force to announce multiple indictments charging 38 people in various mortgage fraud schemes, including “cash back” and loan origination scams as part of Operation Stolen Dreams.
Starting on March 1, the operation has involved 1,215 criminal defendants nationwide, including 485 arrests, who are allegedly responsible for more than $2.3 billion in losses. Additionally, to date the operation has resulted in 191 civil enforcement actions, resulting in the recovery of more than $147 million.
In Arizona, Operation Stolen Dreams has resulted in 51 defendants indicted, convicted or sentenced. In addition to the 38 indicted this month, 13 others have been convicted and sentenced in the state.
“These are the most indictments ever in one month for mortgage fraud,” said Burke. “It reflects both how pervasive the problem is and how committed we are to investigate, prosecute and convict these scam artists. We have heard many of the stories from the community about how mortgage fraud has affected their lives by undermining the housing industry. Now we are aggressively targeting ‘foreclosure rescue,’ reverse mortgage, and other scams designed to profit from the misery of people desperate to remain in their homes.”
RMD contacted the US Attorney’s Office and learned that none of the arrests related to Operation Stolen Dreams in Arizona involved reverse mortgages. When asked if it has seen an increase in reverse mortgage fraud in the state, a spokesperson said it couldn’t comment on specific cases but added “we are aware of these scams and are trying to stay ahead of it by informing people to prevent it.”