There’s been a “drastic” increase in mortgage fraud and a “steady” uptick in health care scams, the FBI said today.
Mueller highlighted priorities and results of the FBI’s criminal programs. Key points:
- “Public corruption continues to be our number one criminal priority”
- In the past two years the FBI has convicted 1,600 federal, state, and local officials for corruption, and has another 3,200 public corruption cases pending, of which approximately 2,500 involve corruption of public officials.
- The Southwest border is a particular focus of corruption-fighting efforts.
- There’s been a “drastic increase in mortgage fraud cases.”
- Mortgage frauds “have evolved with the changing economy, targeting vulnerable individuals, victimizing them even as they are about to lose their homes.”
- In FY 2008, there were 1,600 mortgage cases. As of July 31, 2009, there were more than 2,600 cases pending. Most of these cases have involved losses of over $1 million. That’s more than triple three years ago, according to Reuters.
- The FBI is working to “identify industry insiders and criminal enterprises involved in systematic mortgage fraud.”
- Three per cent of the nation’s health care spending — or more than $60 billion — is lost to fraud.
- The number of pending FBI investigations has shown a “steady increase.” In FY 2008, FBI-led investigations resulted in over 800 indictments and informations and nearly 700 convictions. So far in FY 2009, the FBI has over 2,400 pending cases, approximately 750 indictments and informations, and almost 500 convictions.
- The FBI has over 100 agents assigned to more than 580 open corporate fraud investigations and is “on pace to significantly increase our production over last year.”
- In FY 2008, the FBI obtained 160 indictments/informations. As of July 31, 2009, the agency had obtained more than 130 indictments/informations and, more importantly, 140 convictions.
- The efforts against corporate fraud have “netted billions of dollars in restitution.”
Of course, it’s important to recognise and that bust stats probably lag crime. In the midddle of the decade, the FBI focused more on terrorism and ignored mortgage fraud. Now, after the housing bust, they’re getting the mortgage stuff, and no doubt there’s another fraud that’s bubbling that they won’t start busting until after it gets wildly exposed.