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regards to what constitutes mortgage fraud, Finney (2018) argues that according
to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), mortgage fraud is the
“misrepresentation or omission relating to the property or potential mortgage
relied on by a lender to fund, purchase or insure a loan” (pg. 1). Carswell and
Bachtell (2009) also argue that mortgage fraud is a complex form of
white-collar crime. It resembles a form of highly organized crime, consisting
of a hierarchical structure of multiple individuals.

 In addition, there are multiple forms of
mortgage fraud which exist. This specific case is an example of “mortgage fraud
for profit.” To specify, the case can be categorized as “title fraud.” Title
fraud is referred to as the fraudulent transfer of property and/or assets
(Lampe 2008). In order to transfer the property and/or assets under the fraudster’s
name, identity thieves must first obtain sensitive information such as the
victim’s Social Insurance number, home address, birth date, employment
information, pay stubs, bank statements and signature (Finney 2018). Therefore,
in order for the identity thieves to pose as Lawrence, they would have had to
obtain her personal information in some way.

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terms of the members involved, Stowell, Cagwin, and Fellows (2012) contend that
mortgage fraud may involve the participation of an appraisal, real estate
professional, straw buyer, legal professional, accountants, etc. Each of these
individuals play a vital role in ensuring the process goes smoothly. In this
particular situation, these individuals all had access to Lawrence’s personal
information in order to apply for a mortgage with Maple Trust Company. In
regards to the realtor’s role, I was unable to find sufficient information in
regards to mortgage fraud. Despite this, I did find a lot of information about
the relationship between the straw buyer and the fraudster. I will be conducting
more research about the realtor in the future.


Academic Enhancement

What similarities are there between the academic
material and the case?

order for the identity thieves to have posed as Lawrence, they would have
already obtained her personal information as mentioned above. Identity theft
runs parallel to this case as Lawrence was kept out of the loop before Maple
trust had notified her about the mortgage she owed. For example, the identity
thieves may have posed as buyers and gotten a hold of her information through
an open house or several person meetings.

Cagwin and Fellows (2012) mentioned that a “straw buyer” is normally involved
in a fraud for profit case. The straw buyer is hired by the fraudster and is
responsible for holding a temporary formal title to the property for the
purpose of applying for a loan (Stowell, Cagwin and Fellows 2012). These buyers
are usually known for having good credit, and are financially capable to carry
out these duties. Likewise, Thomas Wright would be categorized as the straw
buyer. It can be assumed that Thomas had good credit to begin with and was
therefore hired on the basis of his financial capabilities. I believe that an
extensive knowledge about the relationship between the main fraudster and the
straw buyer will guide our group towards a practical solution.

addition, Thomas Wright must then have loan documents in order to qualify for a
mortgage with Maple Trust Company. The fraudster is responsible for providing
the straw buyer with falsified loan documents which indicate an inflated
property value rather than the real market value of the home (Stowell, Cagwin,
and Fellows 2012). Similarily, Thomas Wright may have only qualified for the
mortgage because of the inaccurate appraisal value he provided to Maple Trust

Does the academic material challenge my previous

to looking at the case, I was unaware of the severity of the consequences
victims face as a result of mortgage fraud. To illustrate, Lampe (2008) argues
that mortgage fraud cause victims to experience emotional, psychological and
financial stress which include symptoms of depression, anxiety, anger, a sense
of betrayal, or feelings of shame. More importantly, it can severely damage
their credit histories. Similarly, Lawrence had to face multiple consequences
which included losing the case despite being innocent, owing Maple Trust
Company $291,000 and facing a possible future eviction. Although I knew that
victims did bear loss from mortgage fraud, I did not know the extent to which
they did.  


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