Twenty-four individuals have been charged with being part of a criminal organization that used straw buyers to obtain 100 percent mortgages on properties for inflated prices, directing the profits to a shell construction company.

By recruiting members of their organization to cover every piece of the real estate transaction — from appraiser to escrow to real estate agent to buyer — the organization allegedly obtained millions of dollars in cash back and fraudulently obtained commissions and fees, according to the indictment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI and IRS are scheduled to address the charges at 1:15 p.m. today.

The organization allegedly operated between January 2005 and April 1, 2008, according to the indictment.

I’m going to the press conference and will have more for you this afternoon.

KELLY BENNETT

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