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MESA PHOENIX MORTGAGE/BANK FRAUD DEFENSE ATTORNEY

A.R.S. § 13-2320 states that residential mortgage fraud occurs when a person, with the intent to defraud, does any of the following:

 

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  • Knowingly makes any deliberate misstatement, misrepresentation or material omission during the mortgage lending process that is relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower or other party to the mortgage lending process;

 

  • Knowingly uses or facilitates the use of any deliberate misstatement, misrepresentation or material omission during the mortgage lending process that is relied on by a mortgage lender, borrower or other party to the mortgage lending process;

“It’s not residential mortgage fraud or bank fraud just because the government says so.”

  Lisa Witt

  • Receives any proceeds or other monies in connection with a residential mortgage loan that the person knows resulted from a violation of bullet point 1 or 2 above; or

 

  • Files or causes to be filed with the office of the county recorder of any county of this state any residential mortgage loan document that the person knows to contain a deliberate misstatement, misrepresentation or material omission.

 

A charge of residential mortgage fraud must not be based solely on information that is lawfully disclosed under federal disclosure laws, regulations and interpretations related to the mortgage lending process.  A.R.S. § 13-2320 does not  apply to a person who is unaware that the information that is relied on by the mortgage lender, borrower or other party to the mortgage lending process is a deliberate misstatement, misrepresentation or material omission.  Residential mortgage fraud is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1 to 3.75 years in prison for a first time felony offense.  A person who engages or participates in a pattern of residential mortgage fraud is guilty of a class 2 felony punishable by 3 to 12.5 years in prison for a first time felony offense.

“Being charged with a white collar crime doesn’t mean that you’re an evil person.”

  Lisa Witt

The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) amended the definition of “financial institution” found at 18 U.S.C. § 20 to include private mortgage businesses.  FERA also changed 18 U.S.C. § 1014, the False Statement in Mortgage Applications Statute, to make it a crime to make a materially false statement or to willfully overvalue a property in order to influence any action by a mortgage lending business.  Finally, FERA amended 18 U.S.C. § 1031 (Major Fraud against the U.S. Statute), 18 U.S.C. § 1348 (Federal Securities Statute), and 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956 and 1957 (Federal Money Laundering Statute).   

 

18 U.S.C. §1344 describes bank fraud broadly as a person who knowingly does or attempts to do a scheme or artifice to defraud a financial institution or obtain any money, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property of any kind owned by or under the custody or control of a financial institution using false or fraudulent pretenses, representations, or promises.  A person convicted of bank fraud is fined not more than $1,000,000.00 or imprisoned not more than 30 years, or both.

DEFENSES FOR MORTGAGE OR BANK FRAUD CHARGES

A charge of residential mortgage fraud or bank fraud is very complex factually and legally and may subject you to a double whammy of criminal prosecution and civil litigation.  Lisa is an intelligent, detail-oriented defense attorney who will thoroughly evaluate your case and determine if one or more of the following potential defense strategies apply:

 

  • Act described is not mortgage or bank fraud:  The act described in the indictment may not fit the statutory definition of mortgage or bank fraud.

 

  • Lack of intent:  You may not have the intent required to prove mortgage or bank fraud.

 

  • Lack of materiality of falsehood:  The falsehood may lack the materiality needed to prove bank fraud beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

  • Unaware that information provided was false or misleading:  You may not have been aware that the information provided was false or misleading which is a defense to residential mortgage fraud.

 

  • Implausibility of government’s story:  The government’s story may be implausible based on the evidence or timeline.

 

  • Government witnesses are mistaken or lying about what happened.

 

  • Missing or tainted evidence:  Sometimes the government’s evidence is missing or tainted. 

 

  • Police misconduct:  The police could have committed misconduct in investigating the charge, finding evidence, interviewing the victim and witnesses, or obtaining your confession.

 

  • Suppression of government’s evidence:  The government could have violated your constitutional rights in obtaining evidence or getting your confession.

 

  • Insufficiency of government’s evidence:  The government may have insufficient evidence to prove residential mortgage fraud or bank fraud beyond a reasonable doubt.

 

  • Reduction in number of counts: Each count of your indictment should concern a separate criminal act or victim and not be parts of the same mortgage fraud or bank fraud.

 

  • Prosecutorial misconduct:  There may be prosecutorial misconduct in disclosing the evidence, talking with victims and witnesses, or generally in your case.

 

  • Possible other defenses:  Depending on the unique facts of your case, there may be other possible defenses.  Lisa employs logical, bottom line analysis while thinking outside the box so she may come up with a novel defense that no other attorney has thought of before.

 

If you or a loved one is facing a charge of mortgage fraud or bank fraud, it’s very important to hire a thorough, passionate defense attorney who will fight for you as soon as possible.  Call LisaLaw, LLC or fill out the on-line form for a free case review.

Lisa Witt is a Mesa/Phoenix, Arizona mortgage/bank fraud defense attorney serving clients facing charges in the East Valley, West Valley, Maricopa County, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon, Queen Creek, Gilbert, Casa Grande, Surprise, Goodyear, Buckeye, Youngtown, Ahwatukee, Avondale, Tolleson.

 
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