Thursday, BusinessWeek reported that authorities have arrested 485 people since March in what is called Operation Stolen Dreams.
The U.S. Justice Department is running Operation Stolen Dreams, which focuses on putting the squeeze on mortgage fraud. According to the report, the enforcement effort has net 1,215 criminal defendants responsible for $2.3 billion in losses face some sort of legal action. Operation Stolen Dreams also includes 191 civil cases that has recovered more than $147 million.
Attorney General Eric Holder states that "This represents the largest collective enforcement effort ever brought to bear in confronting mortgage fraud." I call this a decent start, but there is a lot more work that needs to be done.
I agree with Holder when he says, "These schemes are despicable, they are dangerous to our economy and they will not be tolerated." If you even question that fact, look at the position mortgage fraud has put us in. Supposedly the FBI has 3,000 more cases pending, which is almost double the number from fiscal 2008. Among those nabbed are real estate agents, investors and mortgage consultants.
I have to give credit where credit is due: the president started this initiative and it was sorely needed. That said, I would like to see more; there has to be more people responsible for mortgage fraud than the group Operation Stolen Dreams has snagged. Once this baby gets rolling, I am sure that there will be plenty more criminals caught, but will it be enough to prevent another economic collapse from happening? I doubt it, because as long as there is money out there to be had, there will be people out there to run scams to get said money.