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Tampa Criminal Lawyer > Blog > White Collar Crime > Real Estate Transaction Fraud

Real Estate Transaction Fraud


If you own real estate, you have financial security that most people don’t have.  The majority of millionaires in the United States have a net worth of just over one million dollars because they bought their family home at an affordable price and paid down the mortgage, so now its value exceeds one million dollars.  A far greater number of Americans live paycheck to paycheck even though their household income exceeds $100,000, and the most fortunate of these spend part of each paycheck on a home mortgage; home ownership is the only thing separating them from financial freefall.  There is so much money in real estate that there are plenty of incentives to be dishonest.  If you get accused of real estate fraud, it is easy for prosecutors to prove that you had a motive but harder to prove that the evidence clearly connects you to the crime.  If you are being accused of financial crimes related to the sale or purchase of real estate, contact a Tampa white collar crime lawyer.

Games Buyers Play

Real estate fraud can take the form of false statements and representations on the part of the buyer or the seller.  The nature of real estate financial crimes by buyers tends to vary according to the buyer’s tax bracket.  At the lower end, one finds buyers accused of mortgage fraud.  The crime of mortgage fraud occurs when a prospective homebuyer knowingly makes false statements on an application for a home mortgage loan.

At the higher end, one finds real estate properties being used as part of money laundering schemes.  Florida is a hot spot for money laundering through real estate.  In the past few years, the laws have gotten stricter regarding the documentation required when someone buys a house in cash.  It is possible to get accused of money laundering conspiracy if you are a real estate agent or other professional who participated in the transaction and you signed or presented documents that, unbeknownst to you, contained false information.

Games Sellers Play

Current owners who try to sell their real estate properties can also get accused of real estate fraud.  Federal law and state laws require sellers to make disclosures about the condition of the property they are selling, but in practice, these laws do not require the seller to inspect the property very carefully before selling it.  You are unlikely to face legal action in civil or criminal court if you simply do not tell the buyer more about the condition of the property than the law requires; it is the buyer’s responsibility to ask.  You can face charges for real estate fraud, however, if you knowingly and openly lie about the condition of the property in order to sell it.

Contact Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Scriven

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are facing charges for making false statements in order to buy or sell a real estate property.  Contact Scriven Law in Tampa, Florida to schedule a consultation.



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