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A group of law enforcement officers and mortgage brokers are accused of operating a mortgage fraud ring Broward County, Florida.
The cops and lawyers are accused of falsifying documents to obtain $16.5 million in loans that they used to buy and flip properties during the real estate boom, the Miami Herald reports.
According to the indictment, the group submitted false documents to mortgage lenders. In addition, they falsely represented to the mortgage lenders the source of the deposits or down payments needed to close the transactions.
Thirteen defendants named in the indictment are scheduled to have their first appearances in federal court. They are accused of a range of federal criminal charges, including:
However, not all the defendants are charged with all of the crimes.
The conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and obstruction of justice counts each carry a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
In general, a criminal conspiracy exists when two or more people agree to commit almost any unlawful act, then take some action toward its completion.
Typically, fraud must be proved by showing that the defendant's actions involved five separate elements: