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Legal Ethics

Jury Deadlocks in Real Estate Attorney’s Mortgage Fraud Trial

Posted Jun 16, 2011 1:25 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A federal jury has deadlocked in the mortgage fraud trial of an Iowa attorney accused of participating in a scheme to trick lenders into approving inflated loans that included kickbacks paid to home buyers. The buyers also reportedly misrepresented their income on loan applications, because they lacked the income to qualify for the mortgages they received.

Charged with conspiracy and wire fraud, attorney Paul Bieber told a federal jury in Davenport, Iowa, that he never had any direct contact with the lenders, assumed they were aware of a difference between the higher initial contract price and the lower amount subsequently stated on an addendum and assumed the difference was being used on renovations, reports the Quad City Times.

He also said he received "absolutely nothing" as a result of his work on the closings at issue except for his ordinary legal fee.

Bieber is scheduled to be retried in August.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Real Estate Closing Attorney Wins Reversal of ‘Honest Services’ Mortgage Fraud Conviction"

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