Homes In Charlotte, Union Co. Targets In Mortgage Fraud

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CHARLOTTE, N.C.,None - Ten people, most of them from the Charlotte area, have been indicted in a nationwide mortgage fraud investigation that federal agents are calling Operation Stolen Dreams.

The indictments come as part of an ongoing FBI investigation that agents said has identified millions of dollars in mortgage fraud involving multimillion dollar homes in Charlotte and Union County.

In most of the cases, agents said the people behind the fraud scheme would inflate the value of the homes by between $200,000 and $500,000. They would then allegedly falsify information to get loans for buyers who would eventually default on the loans. But by then, agents said, they would have already collected profits from the sale.

In most cases, the banks ended up selling the homes for huge losses.

"Protecting ... innocent victims from fraud is a priority of this office," said U.S. Attorney E.B. Holding as he announced the indictments in Raleigh on Thursday.

All of the people arrested in Charlotte made their first court appearances on Wednesday, and all but one have been released on bond.