FBI Denies Fudging Numbers in Mortgage-Fraud Crackdown Summary


Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced that a yearlong crackdown on mortgage fraud netted charges against 530 suspects in the year ending Sept. 30. In fact, reports Bloomberg Business Week, the list included a case filed two years before President Obama was elected. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the initiative ran from Oct. 1, 2011, to Sept. 30, 2012, and resulted in “285 federal criminal indictments and informations against 530 defendants for allegedly victimizing more than 73,000 American homeowners –and inflicting losses in excess of $1 billion.”

A sampling of cases incorporated in the data cited by Holder shows those numbers include charges filed as early as 2006, when George W. Bush was still president. Of eight cases the department cited as recent, two were filed before Oct. 1, 2011, the date used by Holder as the start of the crackdown. Cases filed before the start of the initiative were included because some type of “law enforcement action” occurred during the yearlong period, said FBI spokesman William Carter. Those actions include indictments, convictions, and sentencings. “There is no attempt to fudge the numbers or make it look like it was a bigger problem than it was,” Carter said. “Through our intelligence, we saw this as a rising problem and we're trying to get ahead of it.”

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