Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Announces Results of “Operation Stolen Dreams” Targeting Mortgage Fraudsters
U.S. Attorney Announces Those Charged in Connection with the Takedown in the Southern District of West Virginia
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 17, 2010|
CHARLESTON, WV—Following an announcement today by Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, D.C., U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin announced the results of the nationwide takedown “Operation Stolen Dreams,” which targeted mortgage fraudsters in the Southern District of West Virginia and throughout the country.
The takedown was organized by President Obama’s interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to lead an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. Starting on March 1, Operation Stolen Dreams resulted in 675 mortgage fraud cases in which 1217 defendants were charged nationally. The FBI estimates that approximately $2.3 billion in losses were inflicted by the mortgage fraud schemes employed in these cases.
“Mortgage fraud ruins lives, destroys families, and devastates whole communities, so attacking the problem from every possible direction is vital,” said Attorney General Holder. “We will use every tool available to investigate, prosecute, and prevent mortgage fraud, and we will not rest until anyone preying on vulnerable American homeowners is brought to justice.”
“Mortgage fraud threatens the dreams of every West Virginia homebuyer. As the charges we announce today indicate, the effects run deep. Mortgage fraud certainly affects lenders and investors. But it also affects property values and livability in the communities involved. We are committed to aggressively rooting out and prosecuting those who would jeopardize the American dream with their crimes,” said U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin.
Unlike previous mortgage fraud sweeps, Operation Stolen Dreams focused not only on federal criminal cases, but also on civil enforcement, restitution for victims, and increasing cooperation with state and local partners.
The President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information on the task force, visit StopFraud.gov.
The cases below represent a joint effort of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service.
United States vs. Deborah Joyce United States v. Todd Joyce
Informations were filed today against Deborah L. Joyce, 37, and Todd W. Joyce, 39, both of Hurricane, Putnam County, West Virginia. The charges allege that the Joyces misled people into buying homes as investment properties at prices far higher than the homes were actually worth. In one case, the Joyces bought a home for $395,000, then obtained a false appraisal for $714,000, which they used to “flip” the house to an unwitting investor for $615,000. In total, the Joyces’ crimes resulted in losses of more than $2.3 million.
Note: An Information is merely a formal accusation. It is not proof of guilt, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless they are found guilty.