NEW YORK - A mortgage fraud crackdown announced yesterday resulted in the arrests of dozens of people, including six lawyers, seven loan officers, and three mortgage brokers in four states.
Thirty-one people were arrested in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and North Carolina. They were among 41 people charged with engaging in mortgage fraud scams that defrauded lenders out of more than $64 million in home loans.
Of the 10 remaining defendants, one was expected to surrender later yesterday, four were previously charged, and five remained at large.
Authorities at a news conference in Manhattan said the crackdown, dubbed “Operation Bad Deeds,’’ was aimed at the failure of gatekeepers in the mortgage industry to act responsibly and legally.
“Unfortunately, instead of protecting our financial system, in some cases they abused their positions and joined criminal schemes to steal millions of dollars,’’ said Richard H. Neiman, the superintendent of banks for New York State.
US Attorney Preet Bharara said he found it “especially alarming’’ that lawyers, loan officers, and mortgage brokers treated their professions as a “license to loot banks and profit from other people’s pain.’’ Those charged also included an accountant and a residential property appraiser.