Lawyers Land in Hot Water

Criminal and Civil Mortgage-Fraud Cases Have Exploded Since Housing Crisis

Attorneys Bradford Rieger and Chance Gordon had court cases this summer—as defendants accused of participating in mortgage-related scams.

Mr. Rieger, who faced criminal charges, and Mr. Gordon, who faces civil allegations, are part of what law-enforcement officials and members of the legal community say is a disturbing twist in mortgage-fraud cases in recent years: Many of the alleged wrongdoers hold law licenses.

Mr. Rieger pleaded guilty in a New Haven, Conn., federal court to a fraud-related count tied to a multimillion-dollar scheme against lenders, and faces sentencing. Mr. Gordon allegedly took part in an “unlawful mortgage relief scheme that preys on financially distressed homeowners nationwide by falsely promising a loan modification in exchange for an advance fee” of up to $4,500 a person, according to a pending civil suit filed in federal court in Los Angeles by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Rest from the WSJ here…