In October of 2013, a former NFL player and his mother were indicted in New Jersey for being involved in a mortgage scam. The football player played as a wide receiver played on four different NFL teams between 1984 and 2000, two of which were the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. At the time of his indictment, he was the pastor of a local church that he founded and the head football coach at a nearby school, says Fox News.
The former football player and his mother reportedly submitted false information to obtain five different loans on her home within a six day period. This would have allowed them to steal more than $690,000. Both the football player and his mother were indicted on counts of both theft by deception and conspiracy.
Ex-football player pleads innocent
According to philly.com, it is suspected that the ex-football player spent about $200,000 of the money and only made a few payments to some of the banks before writing off the loans as losses. These actions are both second-degree crimes that could mean $150,000 in fines and between five and 10 years in prison.
However, the football player and his mother recently pleaded innocent to their crimes. The Courier-Post states that a defense attorney on the case revealed that they were merely victims of the scheme and not the perpetrators behind it. Their defense attorney said that their involvement in the scam rooted from a federal wire fraud case enticed lenders to grant customers credit that they would not have been able to obtain otherwise. As part of the ex-football player's plea deal, he has agreed to cooperate with the authorities and is scheduled to be sentenced in February.
Examples of mortgage fraud
The Federal Bureau of Investigation states that mortgage fraud involves a person misrepresenting, making a mistake or omitting important details on a real estate transaction that involves one or more parties. While this ex-football player and his mother are a good example of mortgage fraud, other examples of this crime include:
· On paper, a mortgage looking like it is supposed to be used for a primary residence, but in actuality it will be used as an investment property.
· A buyer that makes it look like they only have one mortgage on paper when they have two or more.
· Appraisals done on a home that are inflated or a credit score that has been manipulated.
If you are being investigated for a mortgage scam, the earlier you seek the assistance of attorney, the more likely it will be that the consequences will not be as severe. Consult with an attorney in your area to find out what your legal options are.