Mortgage exec sentenced to 30 years for $3 billion fraud

WHAT: Lee Farkas, former chairman of Florida’s collapsed Taylor Bean & Whitaker mortgage company, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for running what prosecutors called one of the “largest bank fraud schemes in this country’s history.”

HOW: In nearly a decade, Taylor Bean double-sold hundreds of already owned loans in subprime packages for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and banks. The fraudulent sales became increasingly blatant as more cash was needed to keep the grandiose scheme afloat.

WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: First signs of the massive fraud were discovered as early as 2000. But Fannie Mae never reported it to law enforcement or anyone outside the agency. It only moved to rid itself of bad loans and cut ties with Taylor Bean.

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