A fraud conviction could ruin your career and your reputation within the local business community. Fraud, by definition, requires an intent to deceive, yet it is easy to get caught up in a fraud case without that intention.
Mortgage fraud is one area that could lead to serious penalties. There are two types, and the first relates to trying to get a mortgage for yourself. If you do not put the correct information on the application form, you could face accusations of trying to defraud the lender for housing.
For example, your business income is around $5 million most years, so that is what you put on the form. You fail to mention that last year was a disaster. Even if you are confident, you will again make $5 million this year, failing to mention the poor year could appear to a court you set out to deceive to secure the loan you needed for the property.
You can become embroiled in someone else’s mortgage fraud
It takes many people to get a mortgage. It involves appraisers, lenders, attorneys and more. If you fulfill one of these roles and another person involved sets out to commit fraud, the authorities may assume you were in on the scheme.
For example, the appraiser and borrower have a deal to inflate the value of properties so they can take out bigger loans than would usually be permitted for that real estate. It is called fraud for profit. You help them complete the paperwork but do not know what they are up to. The investigators may refuse to believe you.
Understanding the charges you face and the range of defense options you have will be crucial to avoid the severe consequences a mortgage fraud conviction can bring.