The Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley areas are a hotbed for mortgage fraud investigators. These cases are complex and retaining a qualified federal defense attorney is essential. Counsel should be contacted at the first sign an investigation is underway. It is not advisable to speak with investigators (FBI, US Treasury Agents, Agents of the California Department of Real Estate) without first discussing the matter with a qualified attorney. These cases are typically prosecuted as conspiracies under 18 U.S.C. 371. Mortgage brokers, loan officers, real estate agents, and employees of mortgage and real estate firms are all potential defendants.