Residential Real Estate Criminal Law

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Ninth Circuit Holds That Loan Purchasers Are Victims Under the MVRA

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a restitution order in favor of both the originator and purchaser of two fraudulently obtained mortgages under the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act (MVRA). ...more

NYC puts a stop to deed fraud

Ever heard of deed fraud? It’s a form of fraud that has gone largely unnoticed in New York City in past years, but thanks to recent efforts to crack down on these crimes, two people have been arrested in the Big Apple...more

The Meth Business is Dangerous; (En)trust No One

For a landlord, it’s a bad day when your tenant gets busted for operating a meth lab, and the local authorities condemn your house because it’s contaminated with the byproducts of his business. It’s even worse when you learn...more

House Oversight Commitee Seeks DOJ Documents On RMBS Settlements

On July 24, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) sent a letter to Attorney General Holder raising questions about the DOJ’s “inclination to enter into settlement agreements with respect to mortgage...more

Citigroup To Pay $7 Billion To Settle Mortgage Claims

To settle charges related to the packaging, marketing, sale, and issuance of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), Citigroup will pay a total of $7 billion, including a record $4 billion fine to the Department of...more

North Carolina Legislative Report

The General Assembly’s Short Session began Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The MVA Public Affairs Legislative Report on North Carolina will be distributed weekly to keep you up to date on the latest legislative issues facing the...more

Mortgage Company Resolves HAMP-Related Criminal Allegations

On July 3, the DOJ announced the resolution of a multi-agency criminal investigation into the way a large mortgage company administered the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). According to a Restitution and...more

Credit Crunch Digest

This issue of the Credit Crunch Digest focuses on ongoing civil lawsuits and regulatory investigations into Libor manipulation by large banks, including the possible imposition of new criminal penalties by U.K. authorities...more

FinCrimes Update - Summary, Volume 1, Issue 4

FDIC RESTRICTS BANK’S CARD BUSINESSES PENDING BSA COMPLIANCE ENHANCEMENTS - On June 5, the FDIC and a Delaware bank entered a consent order that prohibits the bank from entering into any new relationships with...more

SunTrust Settles with DOJ for US$968 Million

On June 17, the United States Department of Justice announced a US$968 million settlement with SunTrust Mortgage Inc. Other parties to the settlement are the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Consumer Financial...more

FinCEN Advisory Addresses Risks Presented By Citizenship-by-Investment Program

On May 20, FinCEN issued Advisory FIN-2014-A004, warning financial institutions about the risk of illicit financial activity conducted by individuals with passports from St. Kitts and Nevis (SKN), which allows individuals to...more

BankinBits First Quarter Recap

The BankinBits blog, which discusses recent developments in the banking industry, has within the first quarter of 2014 addressed a diverse range of topics including banking services for the marijuana industry, the shuttering...more

New York Financial Services Regulator Urges More Enforcement Against Individuals, Reaffirms Focus On Nonbank Mortgage Servicers

On March 19, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky called on banking regulators to assess whether they are doing enough, particularly with regard to enforcement, to deter or...more

Wells Fargo Employee Admits Role in $40.8 Million Straw Buyer Scheme

Last Friday, a former Wells Fargo branch manager, sales manager and loan officer, Robert Serao, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The charge stems from Serao’s involvement in a $40.8 million mortgage fraud...more

CFPB's First Consent Order of 2014 Addresses RESPA Section 8(a) Kickback Scheme

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its first enforcement order of 2014 against a St. Louis mortgage lender, Fidelity Mortgage Corporation (FMC), and its president, Mark Figert. The January 16 consent order...more

Increased supervision of BVI Real Estate Agents by the FIA

The BVI Financial Investigation Agency (FIA) is presently reviewing the compliance arrangements of real estate agents throughout the jurisdiction to ensure they meet the requirements of the British Virgin Islands’ (BVI)...more

Credit Crunch Digest - January 2014

This issue of the Credit Crunch Digest focuses on new fines and criminal charges in Libor-related cases; the staggering potential costs of resolving lawsuits filed by regulators against the major banks; a settlement in the...more

Lenity, Chevron Deference And Consumer Protection Laws

Several federal statutes, including the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (“RESPA”), the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”) permit the government to seek either civil or...more

Federal, State Authorities Announce Largest RMBS Settlement To Date

On November 19, the DOJ, other federal authorities, and state authorities in California, Delaware, Illinois, and Massachusetts, announced a $13 billion settlement of federal and state RMBS civil claims, which were being...more

Auction Rigger Enters Guilty Plea

A thirty-seventh individual pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California. The guilty plea, entered on Monday, November 4,...more

First JPMorgan -- Now Rabobank Versus The United States: Taking One For The Team?

2013 marks the five-year anniversary of the financial crisis of 2008. I noted in January that this would play a significant role in white-collar enforcement and regulation in 2013, forcing the government either to act or to...more

Elder Financial Abuse: Prevention and Remedies

I have written about elder financial abuse, and I will keep writing about it until stops. It is unfathomable to me that schemes to defraud the elderly are so pervasive. These seniors are attractive targets for financial...more

Don’t Let Your Client’s Assets Go Up In Smoke When They Discover That Their Tenant Is Growing or Manufacturing Drugs In Their...

Your next-door neighbors may look like normal, law-abiding citizens, but you never really know what they’re hiding beneath their homes – like a largescale marijuana grow operation, perhaps? One such operation was uncovered in...more

Mortgage Fraud: Data Confirms Spike in 2006-2007

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has released an analysis of Mortgage Fraud SAR Filings in Calendar Year 2012. The report was issued on August 20, 2013. This publication updates FinCEN’s prior Mortgage Loan...more

FBI's Mortgage Fraud Report as Prepared by the Financial Crimes Intelligence Unit

The objective of this study is to provide FBI program managers and the general public with relevant data to better understand the threat posed by mortgage fraud. The report was requested by the Financial Crimes Section,...more

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