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Authorities Charge 1,215 People in Nationwide Mortgage Fraud Sweep

Atty. Gen. Holder (left) and FBI Director Mueller announce results/fbi photo

Atty. Gen. Holder (left) and FBI Director Mueller announce results/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News
WASHINGTON –The Justice Department today announced the “broadest mortgage fraud sweep” in U.S. history, with criminal charges filed against 1,215 people. Almost 500 have already been arrested in a 3 1/2-month crackdown dubbed “Operation Stolen Dreams.”

Authorities said the operation uncovered $2.3 billion in mortgage fraud losses and recovered $147 million through 191 civil enforcement actions.

Despite the multistate crackdown, FBI Director Robert Mueller said there is still room for concern. He noted that his agency is pursuing more than 3,000 mortgage fraud cases, almost double the number from the last fiscal year.

“Those who prey on the housing market should know that hundreds of FBI agents on task forces and their law enforcement partners are tracking down your schemes, and you will be brought to justice,” Mueller said in a statement.

Attorney General Eric Holder added: “The staggering totals from this sweep highlight the mortgage fraud trends we are seeing around the country. We have seen mortgage fraud take on all shapes and sizes — from schemes that ensnared the elderly to fraudsters who targeted immigrant communities.”

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FBI Says Bank Robberies Up in Last Quarter of 2008

Bank robber-Auburn, Mass. Dec. 2008

Bank robber-Auburn, Mass. Dec. 2008

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — There were 1,645 robberies, burglaries and larcenies nationwide involving banks in the last quarter of 2008, up 19.5 percent from the previous quarter in 2008, according to FBI stats released this past week.

The following are stats provided in an FBI Press release:

Of the 1,645 total reported violations, loot was taken in 1,527 incidents (93 percent). In contrast, loot was taken in 1,267 incidents (92 percent) during the third quarter of 2008.

The total amount taken was valued at more than $15.4 million dollars, an increase from the previous quarter’s total of more than $12.5 million stolen.
A note was used in 839 incidents; a firearm was used in 465 incidents; and robbers threatened the use of a weapon in 696 incidents.

Acts of violence were committed during 75 of the reported incidents. These acts included 22 instances involving the discharge of firearms, 37 instances involving assaults, and 15 instances of hostage situations.

Three deaths occurred during this reporting period, all three of which were perpetrators. No law enforcement officers were killed responding to these incidents.
Most violations occurred on Friday. Regardless of the day of the week, violations between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. were the most common.