A couple of local blogs are buzzing this morning over the news of the FBI bust and subsequent guilty plea from four San Marcos-based defendants named in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Jim Klinge, known as Jim the Realtor in the blogosphere, posted a bit of background information on the Lopezes. Check it out.

He posted some information about a $1.3 million dollar house in San Marcos, which he found to be owned by Emilio Lopez, one of the defendants, and his wife, June.

And OCRenter, who runs the Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking blog, blogged a sigh of relief that the FBI has completed a bust:

Just when we thought all these fraudsters will all be getting off scot-free … It looks like the Feds have just gotten 4 of these fraudsters in San Marcos to plead guilty to wide reaching real estate fraud committed between 2003 to 2005.

And here’s a distinction from an e-mail from Todd Lackner, a local mortgage fraud expert. Lackner called this type of fraud “fraud for housing,” where the defendants altered documents to get consumers into homes, as opposed to “fraud for profit” in cash-back schemes, where they obtain a falsely inflated appraisal, obtain a mortgage for more than the home is worth, and somehow split the extra cash.

Yesterday, attorney Rachel Dollar characterized the scheme as “fraud for commissions” — the more deals these real estate agents and mortgage brokers made, the more word-of-mouth advertising they benefited from, and the more commissions they garnered.

KELLY BENNETT

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