CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Years after allegedly taking part in a massive mortgage fraud scheme, another line of suspected players snaked its way into federal court Thursday morning.
More than 80 builders, bankers and buyers have now been indicted for using vastly inflated prices on luxury houses like these to obtain millions of dollars in bogus loans.
“There was a tremendous amount of this type of activity,” said Charlotte defense attorney James Wyatt.
Wyatt has represented a number of suspects who have already pleaded guilty in the scheme. The fraud flourished between 2005 and 2007, when banks loaned money with little oversight.
Wyatt said there’s little evidence the fraud is still going on.
“What was happening then is not happening now because the banks’ lending practices have changed 180 degrees,” he said.
Builders like Alan Banks, with the Charlotte Homebuilders Association, said the ongoing federal fraud indictments continue to be a powerful wakeup call to the Charlotte area’s entire building industry.
“We must remain vigilant,” Banks said. “Watching out, looking out for what doesn’t seem right.”
Outside the courthouse, those who know suspect James Tyson Sr. bristled when asked for a comment.
Prosecutors said Thursday their investigation is ongoing. Wyatt said that could mean more indictments.
“If you were involved in this type of scheme, you should certainly still be nervous,” Wyatt said.