Federal authorities filed 50 indictments last year in the region, which covers from Bakersfield to the Oregon border — with another 30 indictments filed during the past year, and many more are expected. Each indictment can include dozens of defendants with financial losses of at least $1 million — and often more than $5 million.
The cases range from loan officers lying about the income of loan applicants buying homes to complex schemes that replace the homeowner’s name on the property title without their knowledge.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has eight attorneys in Sacramento and the same number in Fresno who prosecute mortgage cases, with plans to hire two more lawyers during the next few months. It’s critical to make arrests and go to court as soon as possible, since there is a five-year statute of limitations on mortgage fraud.