Tommy K’s Everywhere

This was a story I was expecting to see: a report that, in recent years of lax oversight, a large number of people have been defrauding mortgage companies.

The number of mortgage fraud cases has grown so fast that government agencies that investigate and prosecute them cannot keep up, lenders and law enforcement officials have said.

Reports of suspected mortgage fraud have doubled since 2005 and increased eightfold since 2002. Banks filed 47,717 reports this year, up from 21,994 two years ago, according to statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the Treasury Department. In 2002, banks filed 5,623 reports.

“I don’t think any law enforcement agency can keep up with mortgage fraud, because it’s such a growth industry,” said Chuck Cross, vice president of mortgage regulatory policy for the conference of state bank supervisors, an organization of regulators and bankers. “There’s too many cases, not enough agents.”

Mortgage fraud covers crimes like false statements on mortgage applications and elaborate “flipping” schemes that involve multiple properties and corrupt appraisers, title companies and straw buyers.

What I’m waiting for, now, is news of what these people used their fraudulent money for. Are these tens of thousands of cases of mortgage fraud just con men getting rich in the easiest way possible? Or were they funneling their ill-gotten money to something or another. In the case of Tommy K, he used his fraudulently gained money bribing Republican Congressmen. Was he the only one capitalizing on the corporatists’ refusal to regulate industry to funnel more money to corporatists?

13 replies
  1. PJEvans says:

    All of the above? (Some of them are probably just people who lied on their applications, probably about their income, and got caught.)

    Merry Christmas to all, even ‘Publicans!

  2. JohnJ says:

    I seem to remember…S&Ls. Could this be a pattern?

    Isn’t it interesting that in both corrupt administrations, a financial industry gets deregulated and the rich pillage it leaving the rest of us (and the following dem administrations) to replace what they stole?

  3. MadDog says:

    Shorter Mortgage Fraudsters: “Loot, loot and loot some more. Sure is hard work. A short jaunt to the Caicos for rum and Coke, and then on to Liechtenstein to wash some more cash.”

  4. bonjonno says:

    It’s the greedy folks running things transferring more wealth to their coffers because they can. A bit un-American. Or at least that’s what I was taught as a kid. Times have changed.

  5. [email protected] says:

    Mortgage fraud cannot be carried out without the passive compliance of banks and other lending institutions involved in the mortgage. In the past, banks would not accept appraisals of mortgage property from “unknown” or unregistered appraisers, appraisals being the opinions of value that they are.
    The advent and growth of machine banking includes computer checking of financial statements for mortgages. The huge expansion in the housing market has not been accompanied by an expansion of bank hiring to cover that expansion of business. The savings in payroll costs provided by passing the risks on to other investors as monetized stocks is far too attractive for ordinary humans to pass up.
    Regulation of human activities by government are NOT to control criminals, they are for ordinary folks like you and me. They reduce temptation to criminal acts. Any time regulation is removed so as to allow easy fraud those frauds will multiply. It is in the nature of people to get away with whatever they can as long as they are not charged with crimes. Declaring government evil, which free marketeers do so loudly and frequently, and the removal of government regulation under that very mantra, has given license to our baser instincts.
    We may pride ourselves with being above such nasty actions, but our attitude toward polite and civil conduct has deteriorated. We now live in an atmosphere of dog eat dog and let the devil take the hindmost.
    As much as this column despises the evil on the right, there is an evil, right and left, destroying our nation; the evil of impolite, dishonorable, and uncivil conduct amongst ourselves.
    Our first resolution this season must be to relearn and to resume polite, honorable, and civil conduct. If we also expect and encourage such action from our neighbors we may just change our direction away from destruction.

  6. posaune says:

    Hey, don’t forget the national scale builders! try looking up campaign contributions from Centex (TX), Pulte (GA), Toll Bros, NV, etc. wayyyyy too invested in issuing their “own” mortgages, too. and look for the local jurisdiction payoffs, too. and rezoning. and building permits. and inspections. this is a massive mudslide that will take decades to level out.

  7. posaune says:

    oh, and does anyone wonder how Centex (from TX) morphed from a local wood-frame home builder into a federal contractor constructing security-grade post tension concrete office structures all over DC?

    • MsAnnaNOLA says:

      They probably did not design either type of structure. Following drawings created by professional architects and engineers doesn not take rocket science.

  8. MsAnnaNOLA says:

    Hey Marcy!

    I have been following the mortgage debaucle before it ever hit the headlines. That this blog exists is telling. I have a close friend in the biz, she assured me that people would not be prosecuted for mortgage fraud. Oh well I guess there goes that theory.

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