A mortgage fraud case pending in Athens Georgia for over a year may be close to indictment. The case involves a local real estate developer who allegedly engaged in a scheme to over-inflate the value of a subdivision he had purchased.
We represent an Athens attorney who was initially arrested and charged with fraud in this case. The Athens Banner Herald has the story. I was interviewed and had this comment:
“The delay in bringing an indictment is not unusual,” said Atlanta attorney Page Pate, who represents one man accused in the Milford Hills case, Athens real estate attorney C. Michael Rose.
“I have been involved in several mortgage fraud investigations at both the state and federal level and I have learned that it takes a lot of time to properly review the closing documents and related paperwork,” Pate said.
Last year, for example, a U.S. District Court jury convicted 10 people involved in a $41 million mortgage scheme that encompassed more than 50 homes and 250 condominiums in eight Atlanta-area complexes – several years after the plot was uncovered.
Several others pleaded guilty to the fraud conspiracy before trial.
Pate is pleased that prosecutors didn’t seek quick indictments because he wants a thorough investigation he believes will exonerate his client.
“Although we would like to get this matter cleared up sooner rather than later, it’s more important to be patient and let the investigators do their job,” Pate said. “If they have adequate time to review this case, I am confident that they will reach the same conclusion as I have – Mike Rose did nothing illegal.”
I don’t know when the case will be indicted. I only hope that the Attorney General’s Office will not charge our client. Mike only closed the loans that were brought to him. He did not know that a lot of the paperwork was fraudulent. Like so many other people in Athens, Mike was deceived by the developer. He was not a part of the scheme, only a victim of it.
There have been a lot of mortgage fraud cases in Georgia in the last few years. We have been involved in many of them. I posted about one of our most recent mortgage fraud cases earlier this year. We have represented lawyers, mortgage brokers, investors, appraisers and the people who end up buying these properties.
Fortunately, we have been able to keep many of our clients from being charged with a crime. We hope we can do the same for Mike.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School. Read Page’s reviews on AVVO. Follow Page on Twitter @pagepate and on Linkedin.