Of course, in the broker’s mind, he is not seeing himself as a criminal. He feels like he was simply allowing a borrower to realize the American dream of homeownership. Yes, the broker financially benefited from the transaction; however, he feels he is entitled to the compensation for his technical skill in closing the loan.
After fraud has been committed on a frequent basis, it becomes easier. The individual is no longer bothered by their ethics or morals. It just becomes a continuous activity and feels normal. In fact, it may become enjoyable for them to find new ways to close loans and defraud their employers. They may even rationalize things by believing that if they weren’t the ones to do it then it would simply have been done by another broker. It then becomes an expectation to them.
Mortgage fraud can be viewed in a triangular pattern. Through pressure, the broker feels like there is the opportunity to commit fraud because it is a necessary action. Due to the frequency of the commission of fraud, a greater number of avenues must be explored to put an end to this terrible plague.
Gary Opper, CPA is the Managing Member of Levie-Opper, LLC, Weston, Florida. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Florida Institute of CPAs. He has written over 500 published articles in over 20 magazines. Mr. Opper has been the National Association of Mortgage Broker’s “Writer of the Year” and “Featured Writer of the Year.” He has spoken to many groups including the Florida Bar Association, the Florida Institute of CPAs, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Northern Trust Bank. He has lectured at four colleges including University of Florida and Florida International University. Opper has an Accounting degree from UF and a Master of Science in Taxation from FIU. Opper is Past President of the Florida Association of Mortgage Professionals - Miami Chapter and the FICPA - Gold Coast Chapter. Levie-Opper, LLC focuses on forensic accounting and fraud auditing. They handle state and federal cases including civil, commercial and criminal. Mr. Opper is available to speak to your group. He may be reached at (954) 384-4557, fax: (954) 384-5483, or e mail: Gary@Levie-Opper.com.
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