National

Florida let crooked mortgage brokers keep working

When state regulators showed up at Samantha Johnson's mortgage company, she had already stolen her first house.

She had forged documents to fleece lenders. She had skimmed money off a customer's loan. She had lied to conceal 19 questionable mortgages.

Florida regulators caught all of that, but they didn't revoke her license or call for a criminal investigation.

Instead, they fined her $4,300 -- less than the commission on a single mortgage -- and made her promise to stop breaking the law.

Case closed.

Back on the prowl, Johnson went on to steal $2.5 million in loans and nine more homes -- including one from a recently widowed, disabled Vietnam veteran and another from a blind, 79-year old woman with Alzheimer's disease.

Read the complete story, and series at miamiherald.com

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