I’m sure you remember the financial crisis in 2008 involving Wall Street and fraudulent mortgage backed securities. I’m sure you’re sick of hearing about it too, but hang in there, this all ties in, I promise. We’re going to compare the treatment a Florida citizen receives for her mortgage fraud, versus the punishment received on Wall Street for a similar mortgage fraud. Can you guess where this is going? Let’s start with Wall Street.
Recently, a federal judge summarized the 2008 crisis as follows, “Did defendants accurately describe the home mortgages in the offering documents for the securities they sold that were backed by those mortgages? Following trial, the answer to that question is clear. The offering documents did not correctly describe the mortgage loans. The magnitude of falsity, conservatively measured, is enormous.” [Judge Denise L. Cote, Federal Housing Finance Agency v. Nomura Holding America, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10466 ( S.D.N.Y. 2015, Case No. 11cv6201]
Ok, so Wall Street didn’t “accurately describe” some home mortgages, and we all know how that story ends. What about the little guy, or in our case, a gal named Jacqueline Izquierdo. She was convicted of mortgage fraud and grand theft. The prosecutors claimed that she provided false information on loan documents used by the mortgage company to determine her eligibility for the mortgage, and convicted of grand theft for taking $216,000 in loan money that she, supposedly, was not entitled to. Izquierdo v. State (Fla. 3rd DCA October 28, 2015, Case No. 3D13-2751).
Just for a little perspective here, remember the billions of dollars in mortgage fraud from 2008? No one was arrested. No one went to prison. Ms. Izquierdo received a sentence of 14 months prison, followed by two years of home confinement (community control, as we call it here in Florida), and then 8 years of supervised probation. Here’s what she did. Continue Reading