Mortgage Fraud

Real Estate and Mortgage Fraud Attorneys in California

Real Estate law is a particularly complex and highly specialized area of the law which most criminal defense lawyers have not had to encounter nor master. Yet, every day people are accused of real estate fraud or mortgage fraud. These persons may be charged with serious felonies in either federal or state court and face substantial prison time, restitution and fines.

Due to the severity of the allegations of real estate fraud or mortgage fraud it is imperative that you have an attorney that truly knows and understands real estate law.

Nafiz M. Ahmed is licensed by the California Department of Real Estate as a real estate broker. His father has been a real estate agent since 1979 and has owned his own real estate office as a broker since 1988. Moreover, both his father and mother have owned their own mortgage company since 1991.

Nafiz M. Ahmed grew up in his family's real estate and mortgage lending businesses and he knows and understands everyday real estate practice and its laws. More importantly, at his disposal, he has access to highly skilled and expert real estate brokers and agents. Through his connections, he can help keep the costs of your real estate fraud or mortgage fraud defense down.

Real Estate Fraud Defined

Generally, real estate fraud is defined as any false representation coupled with intent to deceive made in conjunction with a real estate transaction. Mortgage fraud is generally defined as schemes defined to defraud a federally insured lending institution (i.e., a bank). Some common examples of real estate fraud and mortgage fraud are as follows:

  • Real estate sales involving "straw" buyers
    • A "straw buyer" is one who's identity and credit is used to finance a real estate transaction in place of the person who intends to take ownership or possession of the property once the transaction is finalized. Only the "straw buyer's" credit profile is at risk.
  • Title transfers designed to inflate valuations
    • A "straw buyer" is used to purchase a property. This property is then sold and repurchased additional times at successively higher prices. The parties benefiting by this reselling may be the investor, appraiser, broker or other interested party. Each of these parties may have had a part in fraudulently inflating the value of the property.
  • Loans obtained with false information or identities
  • Foreclosure exploitation
  • Predatory lending

Real Estate Fraud Charges and Punishments

A person who is accused of committing real estate fraud crimes may be charged and punished as follows:

  • Grand Theft: Penal Code § 487(a), 3 years
  • Identity Theft: Penal Code § 530.5, 1 year
  • Forgery: Penal Code § 470(d), 3 years
  • Recording False or Forged Instrument: Penal Code § 115(a), 3 years
  • Foreclosure Consultant Fraud: Civil Code § 2945.4, 3 years
  • Equity Sales Fraud: Civil Code § 1695.6, 3 years
  • Notary Fraud: Government Code § 8214.2, 3 years
  • Escrow Theft: Financial Code § 17414, 3 years

In addition, the District Attorney can charge the following special enhancements:

  • Excessive Taking of $50,000 - $2,500,000: Penal Code § 12022.6: additional 1-4 years
  • Aggravated White Collar Crime Enhancement: Penal Code § 186.11, additional 5 years + $500,000 fine

Should you or anyone you know be facing the serious charges of real estate or mortgage fraud, contact Ahmed and Sukaram, Attorneys at Law right away. We defend real estate brokers, investors, alleged straw buyers, appraisers and other individuals accused of real estate fraud and mortgage fraud.