Reverse mortgage fraud has been a recent target of investigations by the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), among other types of mortgage-related suspicious activity, which was up 31% in 2011 over 2010.
Speaking before attendees of the Mortgage Bankers Association national fraud issues conference in Phoenix this week, FinCEN Director James Freis, Jr. spoke of progress on the reverse mortgage fraud enforcement front, citing national scams that have been prosecuted in the past year.
The network reviewed reverse mortgage data on borrowers and appraisers of FHA insured loans, identified suspicious activity and provided analysis to assist in law enforcement efforts by various federal and state agencies, Freis said.
On the investigative front, FinCEN reported the sentencing of a group of conspirators in Georgia who were charged and found guilty for their participation in a reverse mortgage scheme that totaled $2.5 million. The sentences ranged from 30 to 151 months.
“These high-impact prison terms demonstrate that mortgage fraud is a crime taken seriously by all those involved – beginning with the financial institutions, and all the way through to FinCEN, the investigative agencies, prosecutors, and the courts,” Freis said.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker