What is Real Estate or Mortgage Fraud in Florida?


Fraudulent Real Estate Practices

Federal and State Prosecutors are carefully examining real estate transactions from the 2000’s leading up to the real estate bubble. The senarios are varied. One common scheme is false statements to the mortgage lender.  For example, the seller receives an accurate statement containing the actual sale price of a house or property. However, the lender receives a different statement that reflects a much higher, inflated selling price. The lender then approves a mortgage or loan that exceeds the property’s true value. When the loan or mortgage is settled, conspirators simply divide the proceeds among themselves. There are countless variations.

Providing Fraudulent Information

Real estate brokers and agents help potential buyers who wouldn’t otherwise qualify for loans or mortgages by fabricating the client’s background information, such as employment history or credit scores.

The government considers money gained from real estate fraud and used to buy houses, cars and other property to be  laundered and considers charging criminal money laundering in addition to other criminal fraud charges. A conviction for money laundering often means a greater sentence. In addition, every year the IRS carefully evaluates scores of tax returns submitted by anyone associated with the real-estate industry. If they don’t come after you in criminal court, the IRS can still come after you with a civil tax suit.

Criminal Defense for Real Estate Fraud

Our firm defends clients against many different types of misconduct and fraud claimed against those in real estate. Typically, cases involve a real estate developer or real estate investor manipulating property value, assisting buyers in cleaning up their credit and credit scores, or providing monetary incentives and discounts to buyers in order to entice them into purchasing real estate. Charges may also include mortgage fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud or conspiracy, any of which carries substantial prison time upon conviction - up to 30 years. Moreover, there are often related criminal and civil forfeiture actions to seize, freeze and tie up your assets.

Recently in Florida, a man received a 22-year prison sentence and was ordered to pay over $1 million in restitution to the victims he defrauded in a conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Within the current focus on mortgage fraud, prosecutors are also looking at real estate investors and developers for alleged criminal fraud. Don’t take chances. The law firm of Charles B. Lembcke, P.A. represents real estate investors, real estate brokers, attorneys and developers accused of large-scale misconduct and fraud in the real estate industry.

Based in Jacksonville, we provide an aggressive, effective, and proven defense for real estate owners, executives, investors and professionals throughout Florida in the real estate industries. We represent clients in federal or state prosecutions, related civil litigation and appeals. If you have learned that authorities are subpoenaing records relating to your real estate business, have been approached by investigators or have been indicted, contact us immediately at (877) 355-5467.

Fighting the Allegations

Litigation is all we do, and we do it well. Charles Lembcke is a former federal prosecutor who can anticipate and counter all of the government's strategies. Our goal is to keep clients out of prison and avoid foreclosure through pretrial motions or vigorous representation before a jury and if necessary appeal. If we gauge the prosecution's case to be solid, we will probe for a favorable plea agreement.

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Charles B. Lembcke has been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the area of white collar criminal defense.

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Our Office:

1300 Riverplace Blvd
Suite 605
Jacksonville, Fl 32207

Phone: (904) 355-5467
Toll Free: (877) 355-5467