~The South Carolina United States Attorney’s Office announced another round of federal mortgage fraud indictments. Many mortgage brokers, realtors and attorneys in the Myrtle Beach area could be included in this new phase of indictments. The new United States Attorney for South Carolina has stated that there are several instances of mortgage fraud in the Myrtle Beach area that will be prosecuted by his office. Several of this cases will place defendants in a position where they will be facing prison. Other defendants that are properly defended could end up with something less than prison.~


Some typical defendants in a mortgage fraud indictment will include:

  • Appraisers
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Real Estate Attorneys
  • Realtors
  • Straw Buyers
  • Straw Sellers
  • Bankers
  • Developers


There is no federal law called mortgage fraud. Mortgage fraud is a term given to different federal laws that deal with real property transactions. In other words several types of fraud are used to comprise what the government calls mortgage fraud.

Examples of the federal fraud law would be:

  • Mail Fraud – using the U.S. Postal Service
  • Wire Fraud- electronic
  • Bank Fraud- false information provided to FDIC insured bank

Mortgage Fraud is usually a federal indictment. This indictment is never alone. There are always other counts including money laundering, wire fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud. After 9-11 the FBI was directed to concentrate on anti-terrorism and leave many economic crimes to other agencies. That has now changed and the mortgage fraud indictments are going to start appearing in federal court on a regular basis. The base offense level can be a 6 or 7 on the sentencing guidelines. This provides for a possible probation sentence. However, if the loss exceeds $5,000.00 then the guidelines provide for a greater exposure of prison time. The maximum term of imprisonment for the fraud indictment is usually 20 years. Other counts can increase this exposure. Mortgage brokers, realtors, lenders and borrowers are all possible defendants in a mortgage fraud indictment. Our office is experienced in defending mortgage fraud cases in several federal courts throughout the country. A criminal mortgage fraud defense attorney must research and investigate a mortgage fraud indictment at many levels. A good investigator and expert witnesses will be needed for a great defense at trial.

Mortgage Fraud Defense– the best approach to defending a mortgage fraud indictment is to ensure that any information the government is using is based on a thorough investigation and not on a cooperating defendant that is trying to reduce their exposure. Indictments based solely on a cooperating defendant will need to be back by some other evidence to show the intent to commit fraud. Many times the paper trial is the best evidence the government has to prove the mortgage fraud. Applications, letters, checks, deposits and the final destination of any funding will be critical to a good mortgage fraud defense. There are many ways to defend actions of individuals in a mortgage fraud case. The business experience of the defendant and his or her history in relation to real estate and lending practices will be important to the defense.


If you need a mortgage fraud defense attorney in Charleston, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Florence, Columbia, North Charleston, Conway, Miami, Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Greenville, Spartanburg, Aiken, Augusta call our office at 1-800-94TRIAL. Our Myrtle Beach Federal Defense Attorneys are available to speak with you.

South Carolina Criminal Lawyer Blog – Mortgage Fraud