Mortgage Fraud Restitution Case Criminal Defense Attorney Comments

Criminal Defense Attorney Hope Lefeber discusses a current U.S. Supreme Court case Roberts v. United States. If a home loan is obtained with fraudulent information and the borrower defaults on the loan, how much restitution is owned by the defendant where the lender has already received the collateral?

Philadelphia, PA October 29, 2013 – Mortgage Fraud Restitution Case

Hope Lefeber, the leading federal criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia discusses a current U.S. Supreme Court case, Robers v. United States. The case will decide whether the loss is to be determined on the date that the collateral is seized or on the date of sentencing.

The United States Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Robers v. United States, case number 12-9012, to resolve a conflict among lower courts on the method that federal judges use to determine how much restitution a convicted individual must pay to the victim. Hope C. Lefeber, a leading criminal defense lawyer, discusses the case.

According to court documents, for case number 12-9012, the issue at stake is whether an individual who purchased houses on the basis of false information and then defaults on the loans satisfies some or all of the legal obligation to pay restitution to the lenders or mortgage insurers if the houses covered by the scheme are returned to them. The federal courts are split on whether such a return can satisfy, at least partly, the duty to make the victim whole under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act.

In Robers, the court will address whether a defendant who has fraudulently obtained a loan and thus owes restitution for the loan under 18 U.S.C. § 3663A(b)(1)(B) returns “any part” of the loan money by giving the lenders the collateral that secures the money. Often the value of the collateral is far greater when it is initially foreclosed upon, than later on, after many additional costs are incurred by the lender.

Lefeber states, “Previously, the Seventh Circuit Court ruled that the return of the property does not satisfy the restitution duty, since that must cover what the victims actually lost in financial terms. In this case, the difference is substantial: the individual involved, Benjamin Robers, faces a duty to pay nearly $220,000 when he believed his obligation was limited to $4,800.”

Hope C. Lefeber is a practicing federal criminal defense attorney in New York City and is available for free initial case consultations. Call (610) 668-7927 or Contact.

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