Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2009, $279,950)
The Recovery Act Edward Byrne Memorial Competitive Grant Program (Byrne Competitive Program) will help communities improve the capacity of state and local justice systems and provide for national support efforts including training and technical assistance programs strategically targeted to address local needs. This competitive grant announcement focuses on initiatives in eight areas: 1) preventing and reducing violent crime through community-based data-driven approaches; 2) providing funding for neighborhood-based probation and parole officers; 3) reducing mortgage fraud and crime related to vacant properties; 4) hiring of civilian support personnel in law enforcement (training staff, analysts, dispatchers, etc.); 5) enhancing forensic and crime scene investigations; 6) improving resources and services for victims of crime; 7) supporting problem-solving courts; and 8) national training and technical assistance partnerships.
Under category 3, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office will use the grant to increase their number of law enforcement partners and expand their efforts to aggressively investigate and prosecute fraudulent mortgages within Cuyahoga County. The Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office convened the Cuyahoga County Mortgage Fraud Task Force in January 2007. Since 2007, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office has indicted 219 defendants for their involvement in fraudulent loans (totaling more than $55 million), taken on 353 homes. Of the 353 home loans under investigation, 252 of the houses (71 percent) have fallen into foreclosure. The task force is comprised of 12 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The grant funds will be used to hire three additional full-time employees. The increased capacity provided by adding staff is expected to result in criminal indictments being brought against an additional 250 defendants for fraudulent mortgages by the end of the 24-month grant cycle.