Caifornia Gang Members Indicted For Mortgage Fraud

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We knew the wild housing market attracted some unseemly characters. But this is still pretty surprising:

San Diego Union Tribune: Federal prosecutors indicted 24 people in a massive mortgage fraud scheme that they said was led in part by a gang member from San Diego and netted participants $11 million in profits.

In an indictment unsealed yesterday, prosecutors laid out a wide-ranging racketeering conspiracy that ran from 2005 to 2008 and targeted homes across the county. Among the identified leaders was Darnell Bell, a documented member of the Lincoln Park street gang.

Bell, 38, used his status in the gang to recruit other members for the scheme and “maintain discipline,” according to the indictment.

Econ prof James Hamilton asks “Why sell crack when taking money from a careless lender is so much easier and more profitable?”

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