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Mortgage Fraud and Real Estate Crimes Unit Initiative

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)
Original Solicitation

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $875,000)

The Congressionally Selected Awards Program, authorized by the Omnibus Appropriations Act, 2009 (Pub. L. 111-8), helps improve the functioning of the criminal justice system, prevent or combat juvenile delinquency, and/or assist victims of crime (other than compensation). Funds should be used for the projects selected by Congress, in the amounts specified in the joint explanatory statement incorporated by reference into Pub. L. 111-8, and generally consistent with one or more of the following statutory purposes: improving the functioning of the criminal justice system, preventing or combating juvenile delinquency, or assisting victims of crime (other than compensation). Each of these purposes is framed using language drawn, respectively, from the former Byrne discretionary statute, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act, the Victims of Crime Act, and the Violence Against Women Act. This project is authorized and funded through a line item in the FY 09 Congressional Budget and by the joint explanatory statement that is incorporated by reference into the FY09 Omnibus Appropriations Act.

Fraud involving real estate, to include mortgage fraud, predatory lending, refinancing fraud, deed theft, and foreclosure rescue scams, has been occurring in epidemic proportions in Kings County. Partially as a result of this fraud, the county currently has one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the state. In an effort to combat this growing epidemic, the Kings County District Attorney's Office will use Fiscal Year 2009 Congressionally Selected Awards Program funding to create a specialized unit that will identify, investigate, and prosecute these crimes. The proposed unit will employ investigative assistant district attorneys to amass evidence, assess viability of prosecutions, present matters to grand juries, and follow through on all post-indictment stages of prosecutions; financial investigators experienced in real estate transactions and forensic financial investigations; and support staff comprised of detective investigators to serve subpoenas, conduct witness and subject interviews, and assist in arrests, as well as paralegals and secretaries for administrative support. Through the grant, the salaries of each staff member assigned to the new unit, along with travel costs and general office equipment will be supported.


Date Created: August 26, 2009