Feds Charge 41 South Floridians in $40 Million Mortgage Fraud
Last summer, South Florida sank under a spectacularly burst housing bubble that had been inflated well beyond reason by speculators, absent investors, and more than a few outright criminals.
In June '08, the U.S. Attorney's Office created a task force to track down the last -- the fraudsters who helped dig us into the financial mess most of Miami-Dade is still struggling desperately to climb out of.
This afternoon, the team announced its biggest bust yet: 41 South Florida residents charged in $40 million worth of mortgage fraud.
Those 41 people engaged in a staggering variety of crimes, detailed in six federal indictments obtained by Riptide.
But they all shared the basic schemes: faking mortgages to drive up the price of homes, stealing identities, and selling the same properties multiple times to straw companies.
In dozens of cases, they stole homeowners' personal information and then sold and resold their houses until they eventually were foreclosed. Only when the bank came knocking did the scammed residents realize anything was wrong.
Miami's housing market this week has finally showed signs of recovery. Let's hope the next bubble isn't built on quite so much blatant mischief.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Miami New Times' biggest stories.
- Bill Advances That Would Ban Red Light Cameras in Florida
Thu., Feb. 11, 7:00pm
Fri., Feb. 12, 7:30pm
Sat., Feb. 13, 6:00pm
Sat., Feb. 13, 7:00pm
- Facebook Killer Derek Medina Gets Life in Prison, Vows to Sue Entire World
- Marco Rubio's Friend Didn't Know About Gay Porn House, Site's Owner Says