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November 16, 08

NEWS / U.S. Attorney Launches Mortgage Fraud Task Force


St. Louis, MO: United States Attorney Catherine Hanaway announced today the formation of the U.S. Attorney’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force. The first meeting of the U.S. Attorney’s Task Force on Mortgage Fraud occurred today at the U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis.

“Most of us have learned the hard way that the mortgage industry is a crucial part of our economy and that dishonesty and corruption have damaged the integrity of that industry,” said Hanaway. “This task force is an attempt to build on the relationships that have already been established among law enforcement over the last several years, and to reach out to a broader group to make sure the prosecutorial response to the mortgage fraud crisis is as intense as the crisis itself.”

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Missouri has a long history of prosecuting mortgage fraud. “We have a strong record of prosecuting these fraudsters to the full extent of the law,” said Hanaway. “This Task Force should cast a broader net so that we can catch more of these criminals and put them behind bars.”

The Task Force aims are three-fold:

(1) to stop mortgage fraud before it starts by educating industry officials, the borrowing community and local law enforcement;

(2) to ensure ALL cases of fraud are brought to the attention of law enforcement and prosecutors and

(3) once cases are charged, to take care that the voice of the communities victimized by mortgage fraud are heard by the courts.

The Task Force is made up of a broadly based group of law enforcement, government regulators and real estate professionals. In attendance at Wednesday’s meeting were representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Missouri Department of Insurance-Financial Institutions and Professional Registration, Missouri Mortgage Bankers Association, Missouri Association of Mortgage Brokers, Missouri Bankers’ Association, St. Louis Association of Realtors, the City of St. Louis-Office of Development, the Washington Police Department, the Webster Groves Police Department, the Ferguson Police Department, the Hazelwood Police Department, the St. Louis County Police Department, the Missouri Sheriffs’ Association, the St. Louis Better Business Bureau and the United States Attorney’s Office.
Anyone wishing to join the Task Force or to report evidence of mortgage fraud should call Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus at (314) 539-2200.
http://stlouis.fbi.gov/dojpressrel/pressrel08/sl111208.htm

 




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