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Federal officials charge several in North Carolina with fraud

Several federal investigations being conducted in North Carolina and the surrounding states have led to charges being filed against numerous individuals. The charges are in connection with what federal investigators say are separate mortgage fraud schemes that have been conducted over the course of several years. All of the individuals have been accused of conspiracy to commit fraud, but some are also facing additional charges.

It appears that millions of dollars' worth of property and loans were acquired through fraudulent real estate transactions. Many of the properties in question are now in foreclosure and have been seized by the U.S. Marshals Service. Investigators say they are in the process of contacting all of the alleged victims that are a mixture of individuals and lending institutions.

The activity alleged to have occurred in North Carolina is similar to mortgage fraud schemes that have popped up across the country since the collapse of the real estate market in 2008. It is still unclear how each party was allegedly involved. What is clear is that each of the individuals that has been charged could face prison time and possibly be required to pay restitution to those that have allegedly been victims of the fraud.

It is important to remember that in large fraud investigations, it is possible that unintentional oversights or errors have been made by investigators. It may be difficult to prove each individual's supposed role in the fraud, and it is possible for a defense attorney to establish that some or all of the charges are unfounded. As with anyone accused of a crime, he or she is innocent under the law unless and until proven guilty. That presumption of innocence is the underpinning of our criminal justice system, making it the responsibility of the government to back up its claims of wrongdoing with competent and relevant proof.

Source: wral.com, "Feds pursue mortgage fraud in NC," July 10, 2013

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