Mortgage industry professionals are facing increased scrutiny by federal prosecutors in Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and New York, according to the Wall Street Journal. The FBI reports that 1,200 mortgage fraud cases are currently under investigation, compared with only 436 in 2003 and 818 in 2006. The Bureau wants to make it clear that mortgage fraud is a priority.
Last year, the FBI received over 35,000 reports of mortgage fraud, which totaled almost $1 billion in losses. This was over 5 times the number of reports in 2003. In 2006, there were 204 federal mortgage fraud convictions, which generated $388 million in restitution and $231 million in fines.