Articles Posted in White Collar Criminal Defense

White-collar crime covers a lot of legal territory; from security fraud, wire-fraud, money laundering to tax evasion. In this situation the second largest bank in Switzerland, Credit Suisse, has been indicated (charged) and has been adjudicated guilty of a felony. Historically, the United States and the New York State’s Attorney General, have balked at indicting banks. The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department, and State and Federal banking regulators can either elect civil process or criminal process to rein-in bankers. When the criminal process results in a conviction it can be a death sentence for a banking institution.

What’s important about this headline is that a felony charge was used instead of a gentleman’s agreement pursued under the alternative civil regulatory process. A felony conviction for any bank raises the very real risk of having to close their business. To avoid that very real possibility, Credit Suisse agreed to what are historically important concessions. CreditSuisse.png In return the United States banking authorities have waived, or declined to use, their power to suspend Credit Suisse from conducting investment and banking business within the United States. Swiss banking laws do not permit any bank to reveal the identity of its depositors. Several years ago, U.S. Federal criminal authorities pursuing tax avoidance charges against U.S. citizens, demanded and received assurances from Swiss government officials that the names of U.S. citizens would be revealed. The Swiss never completed the understanding. Banking regulators in New York and the Justice Department and the office of United States Attorney General, in Washington D.C have imposed, and will share, a $2.6 billion fine imposed on Credit Suisse. The big Swiss Bank and its parent company, have pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to aid in tax invasion, a felony.

What is important is that this large bank is now a convicted felon. What is going on here? Federal prosecutors as well as the Federal Reserve and New York State banking regulators are going after top tier tax evasion programs conducted through and by banks in Switzerland. Now, banks in Switzerland have agreed to reveal their offshore banking operations. The agreement does not require the Swiss bank to reveal the false names used in creating trusts holding taxable deposits from US citizens. They will, however (and this is a major thing) have to keep those records within the United States. We expect that indictments and subpoenas will be issued in New York to open those files, reveal names, and begin prosecutions in state and federal courts. What comes next is a long anticipated series of indictments coming out of federal courts in New York and Florida. Within six months Credit Suisse will turn over to their United States operations, the true identities of depositors using offshore Swiss bank offices. Next will come government attempts to get to those lists and begin prosecutions for tax evasion.

Continue reading →

Yvette Scott-Patterson will be charged with mortgage fraud in the purchasing of more than 30 properties by use of fraudulent home loans. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida has said Scott-Patterson will be facing six years in prison, a $110,000 fine and deportation after her sentence. Prosecutors say that she and others in her group used false documentation in order to secure loans. Some of the fake papers were forged bank statements, false or stolen drivers licenses and phony employment verification letters. It is estimated that nearly $10 million in fraud was conducted by Scott-Patterson and her criminal colleagues. She fled the country in 2006 and was arrested 2 years later by the local Fugitve Apprehension Team resulting in her extradition back to the US. Nine individuals, including her husband Delroy Patterson, were charged and have plead guilty. Scott-Patterson’s formal charges were one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, as well as another count of aggravated identity theft in association with the scheme.

Continue reading →

Mike Ohana, 39, Ryan Dosen, 30, and Paula Ramos, 52, were among nine people involved in a complex mortgage fraud scheme skyrocketing into the millions of dollars of theft. The group allegedly defrauded $3 million from two banks by use of fraudulent loans. Authorities stated that Ramos verified the loan applications on two properties in Miami in a fraudulent fashion. Washington Mutual was the bank defrauded by Go Expert Mortgage, the group owned by Ramos. Fraud occurred when Ramos vouched for the applications as true. Dosen was the attorney that worked as a title attorney for the deal.

Continue reading →

Taylor, Bean & Whitaker halted all mortgage loan funding today in result of a federal investigation. Federal authorities had called the company to close loans which were insured by the Federal Housing Administration. In addition to the FHA suspending the firm, Ginnie Mae cut off Taylor, Bean & Whitaker from its mortgage-backed securities program. Mortgage fraud is running rampant in large-level organizations in today’s business age and its affecting consumers directly. The lender based out of Ocala did not submit a mandatory report which led to the investigation and eventual shutdown.

Continue reading →

Gideon Rechnitz currently faces two lawsuits of mortgage fraud in Sarasota County, including one by 71-year-old Yolanda Rodriguez. She claims that in 2006 Rechnitz improperly evicted her and her deaf brother from their home, which he acknowledged in a deposition was worth far more than the $150,000 Rodriguez owed on her mortgage. Rechnitz said in the fall that his foreclosure rescue business had slowed considerably in 2008 because it was harder to find people like Rodriguez with substantial equity. But as home­owners who got 100 percent financing now struggle to renegotiate their mortgage terms, state records show he recently started a new company called Loan Modification Enterprises.

Continue reading →

In conclusion of Attorney Ralph Behr’s personal thesis on mortgage fraud prosecution:

On the other hand, this defense would not be legally cognizable under § 817.545, Fla. Stat. (2009) and two other federal statutes aforementioned.115 § 817.545, Fla. Stat. (2009) concerning violations committed during the mortgage lending process do not require a person or entity to rely or to be injured by a defendant’s fraudulent activity it is enough that “..any material misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission…” is made “…with the intention that the misstatement, misrepresentation, or omission will be relied on…”116 This statute is more aligned with two other federal statutes punishing statements or omissions on applications or forms submitted to federally approved agencies that are in the business of extending credit, 18 U.S.C. § 1010 (2009) and 18 § U.S.C. 1014 (2009). The actual submittal of these forms or applications for loan or credit advances coupled with either the “…intent that such loan or advance of credit shall be offered to or accepted…”117 or “…for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of…” any federally approved agency in the business of extending credit118 would be sufficient for a conviction under either statute.

___________________________

Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.

Continue reading →

§ 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) should be reduced to an attempt because the crime was not completed.108 The defendant reasoned the corporation “…was not deceived as a result of any false representations and issued the check in an attempt to lure her presence and facilitate her arrest.”109 The court agreed with the defendant and determined the record did “…not demonstrate reliance by the victim on the defendant’s misrepresentations.”110
Furthermore, § 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) and § 877.10, Fla. Stat. (2009) are similar to the mail, wire and bank fraud statutes because it is evidence of a defendant’s involvement in “…the scheme to defraud and not actual fraud that is required.”111 “No particular type of victim is required…nor need the scheme have succeeded.”112 Although the government need not prove there is any reliance or injury, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the evidence shows a “…willful participation in [the] scheme with knowledge of its fraudulent nature and with intent that these illicit objectives be achieved.”113 However, a defendant may have a complete defense to wire fraud, bank fraud, or money laundering negating the specific intent element of the statutes if a jury determines a defendant acted in a good faith belief his or her actions were not illegal.114
___________________________

Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.

The number of foreclosures in Miami-Dade and Broward continued rising last month, as mounting job losses crippled borrowers’ ability to make monthly payments and lenders lifted previous foreclosure moratoriums and resumed legal action against delinquent accounts. In Miami-Dade County, lenders filed 3,043 initial foreclosure actions against homeowners and reclaimed 819 homes through foreclosure. Hundreds more were scheduled for auction at the courthouse, according to a monthly foreclosure report from Irving, Calif.-based RealtyTrac.

Many lenders suspended foreclosures in the first half of the year as they waited for the Obama administration to release details of a national foreclosure prevention initiative. In February, it launched the Making Home Affordable Plan, which is expected to help as many as 9 million borrowers avoid foreclosure by refinancing or modifying their current mortgages.

Continue reading →

Hidayatullah Ali Khalil, 29, has been charged for providing false information on a mortgage loan application in attempting to purchase two home which would eventually become foreclosed. He was arrested last Thursday on a complaint levied by three separate individuals. The FBI took notice and have in holding in order to be seen in a federal court under a $75,000 unsecured bond. The incident of mortgage fraud resulted in Khali buying homes in Elk Grove and Watsonville, CA in 2005.

Khali removed more than $100,000 cash from the Elk Grove property in two separate transactions. Further investigation is underway by the FBI into the Santa Cruz police officer and other related individuals.

Continue reading →

Attorney Behr’s mortgage fraud prosecutions series continues with the following EXCERPT:
§ 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) should be reduced to an attempt because the crime was not completed.108 The defendant reasoned the corporation “…was not deceived as a result of any false representations and issued the check in an attempt to lure her presence and facilitate her arrest.”109 The court agreed with the defendant and determined the record did “…not demonstrate reliance by the victim on the defendant’s misrepresentations.”110
Furthermore, § 877.54, Fla. Stat. (2009) and § 877.10, Fla. Stat. (2009) are similar to the mail, wire and bank fraud statutes because it is evidence of a defendant’s involvement in “…the scheme to defraud and not actual fraud that is required.”111 “No particular type of victim is required…nor need the scheme have succeeded.”112 Although the government need not prove there is any reliance or injury, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the evidence shows a “…willful participation in [the] scheme with knowledge of its fraudulent nature and with intent that these illicit objectives be achieved.”113 However, a defendant may have a complete defense to wire fraud, bank fraud, or money laundering negating the specific intent element of the statutes if a jury determines a defendant acted in a good faith belief his or her actions were not illegal.114
___________________________

Any use of the previous article requires written permission from Attorney Ralph Behr and from this website and its subsidiaries under State and Federal Law. DO NOT copy and use the text provided above and/or publish as your own. The document may only be used for private study or distributing among peers in paper, not on internet transmission, with no intent to make profit or sell without credit being due to the original author.