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4 charged in mortgage fraud scheme

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Four people from Minnesota and Wisconsin are charged in what authorities are calling a “sophisticated mortgage fraud scheme” involving fake documents — including phony divorce decrees and the forged signature of a Minnesota judge.

The case involves the sales of foreclosed properties in the Twin Cities area and tens of millions of dollars in federally guaranteed mortgage loans.

Those loans require extensive documentation. Authorities say the defendants came up with fake companies, bogus bank statements and fake college transcripts to qualify for the loans. They then created a second, fake mortgage and collected kickbacks when the property was sold.

They are charged with racketeering.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce also filed a civil action, requesting an administrative hearing to see if the defendants violated state laws governing real estate agents.

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