How Mortgage Fraud and Identity Theft Can Cause a Major Disaster

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on January 30, 2014

Indictments are scary, especially when you’re an individual of high esteem, such as, say, an attorney? Or any government official, for that matter? This is no exception either as it was recently in the news that mortgage fraud can get serious when involved with identity theft (as if mortgage fraud wasn’t serious enough. Case in point: one New Jersey Tornadolawyer by the name of Stephanie Hand….

She received no hand, for sure, in this situation when she got herself knee-deep into trouble over a scheme of fraudulent activity against several residential mortgage lenders, totaling up to $873K. How did she do that? She submitted mortgage applications – and this is actually the ingenious part – with names of individuals possessing stolen identities!

Pay close attention to just how damaging that can be, like a financial tornado ripping away at bank accounts and causing sheer real estate havoc. Real estate law would be torn, tattered and frayed after this debacle reached too far; luckily, though, the indictment went through, and attorney Hand faces the hand of justice for allegedly falsifying closing statements, declaring that these nonexistent individuals made their required payments with proceeds appropriately disbursed.

Not only is this money laundering, but it’s a case of second-degree conspiracy and theft by deception. Additionally, Hand isn’t alone in this as a few other defendants face the same indictment. Apparently this idea of mortgage fraud and identity theft is a trend in white collar crime. This Mercer County case sees a huge consequence in the horizon after the tornado clears with minimal damage, thankfully – the only damage will be what Hand will face: as much as a decade in prison.

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