41 people indicted in Florida in scheme to inflate mortgages

MIAMI — Forty-one people have been charged with taking part in a $40 million mortgage-fraud scheme, federal authorities said Tuesday in Miami.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Sloman said the fraud involved a network of fake purchasers, crooked mortgage brokers and cooperative bank employees who arranged for inflated mortgages.

In mortgage-fraud scams typical during the boom, a team of mortgage professionals -- often including attorneys, mortgage brokers and appraisers -- would pay stand-in buyers to use their identities to get mortgages for the purchase of inflated properties. They would often never make payments on the loans and the homes would soon enter foreclosure.

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