24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196

AS SEEN ON

EXPERIENCEDTop Rated

YOU MAY HAVE SEEN TODD SPODEK ON THE NETFLIX SHOW
INVENTING ANNA

When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Philadelphia Federal Mortgage Fraud Charges: Flipping, Lending and Kickbacks

Philadelphia Federal Mortgage Fraud Charges: Flipping, Lending and Kickbacks

Mortgage fraud has become a major issue in Philadelphia and other cities across the country. With the housing boom of the early 2000s and easy access to loans, fraudsters took advantage by engaging in various schemes like property flipping, predatory lending, and kickbacks.

What is Mortgage Fraud?

Mortgage fraud refers to illegal activities intended to misrepresent information on mortgage loan applications. This can involve fabricating borrower income or assets to qualify for loans, concealing down payments, inflated property appraisals, identity theft, and more. Mortgage fraud can be committed by borrowers, lenders, appraisers, real estate agents, and others involved in real estate transactions.

Common Mortgage Fraud Schemes

Some of the most common mortgage fraud schemes in Philadelphia and elsewhere include:

  • Property flipping – Buying distressed properties and reselling them quickly at inflated prices using fraudulent appraisals.
  • Predatory lending – Putting borrowers into complex loan products like interest-only loans that they don’t understand and cannot afford.
  • Kickbacks – Real estate and lending professionals demanding money or favors in exchange for services like approving loans, providing appraisals, or directing business.

The Fallout of Mortgage Fraud

The impacts of widespread mortgage fraud in a city like Philadelphia can be severe. It can lead to inflation of housing prices, increased foreclosure rates, property abandonment, plummeting tax revenues, and urban blight. For example, some neighborhoods in Philadelphia with high rates of fraud saw real estate values crash more than 70% when the housing bubble burst in 2008. The whole city still bears some of the scars from this period.

Efforts to Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud

Law enforcement has made efforts to crack down on mortgage fraud in Philadelphia in recent years:

  • The U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has prosecuted dozens of individuals for schemes involving property flipping, predatory lending, or kickbacks.
  • FBI investigations in the city have targeted corruption and fraud among property appraisers, lawyers, loan officers, and real estate developers.
  • Joint federal-state mortgage fraud task forces and working groups have been formed to better coordinate enforcement efforts.
  • New consumer protection regulations like the Dodd-Frank Act have aimed to deter predatory lending and other abuses by financial institutions.

Recent Philadelphia Mortgage Fraud Cases

Some notable recent mortgage fraud prosecutions in Philadelphia include:

  • In 2022, title company owner David Kaufman was sentenced to over 5 years in prison for conspiring with a Delaware County attorney to falsify mortgage records and flip properties at inflated prices.
  • Developer Donald Peebles Jr. was indicted in 2022 for allegedly engaging in $10 million bank and mortgage fraud scheme involving Philadelphia properties.
  • In 2021, Philadelphia sheriff Austin Lee was charged with taking kickbacks in exchange for steering properties sold at sheriff auctions to favored buyers.

Federal Charges and Penalties

Most major mortgage fraud cases are prosecuted at the federal level under statutes like:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • Wire fraud
  • Loan or credit application fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Mail fraud
  • Making false statements

Those found guilty can face $1 million fines,30 years imprisonment, restitution, and forfeiture of assets. Harsh sentencing is done to deter other fraudsters.

Common Defenses in Mortgage Fraud Cases

Some defenses suspects might raise include:

  • Lack of intent – Arguing the defendant did not knowingly commit fraud.
  • Blaming co-conspirators – Alleging that others involved coerced or tricked the defendant.
  • Statute of limitations – Charging that too much time has passed since offenses occurred.
  • Pleading ignorance – Stating mortgage regulations are overly complex so violations were accidental.

However, prosecutors often have extensive paper trails, witness testimony, and other evidence that makes such defenses tough to succeed with.

What Needs to Be Done Moving Forward

Going forward, Philadelphia needs better consumer protections and oversight of real estate transactions. We also need adequate resources for law enforcement to monitor lending practices, detect fraud schemes quicker, and punish those responsible. Community groups have an important role to play too in educating homeowners and preventing them from being victims. Mortgage fraud exploits the most economically vulnerable among us, so there needs to be a coordinated effort across government, business, and nonprofit sectors to stamp it out.

The housing crisis last decade taught us we cannot take ethics in finance and real estate for granted. There are still improvements needed in transparency, accountability, and regulations among lenders and others in these industries. But through continued diligence and by reporting suspicious activities, Philadelphia can work to ensure fairness and integrity is upheld in home sales and loans.

 

Schedule Your Consultation Now