Am I criminal too? If I used dirty money.?

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Hi
I had a friend (James) who was a mortgage broker also a investor. Year 2006 we purchased property in Florida. He told me that would be a good investment property. About six months later he asked me to go to settlement because we have a buyer. He also mentioned “We will make $ 150K each.” I Said “How come. In six month?” He goes “Dude I told you it is a good investment property…” and we had a settlement and I made $ 150K. After couple months he was caught by FBI for other crimes. Now he is in federal prison. Problem is that the property we bought and sold in Florida, he (James) inflated value more than $ 400K by using false appraiser. (*some reason he controlled buyer’s loan application also hired appraiser by himself. Appraiser was conspirator too.) Believe or not I didn’t know any thing about that. Now I realize that it was a mortgage fraud. Luckily? – James was not charged about this fraud. But the person who bought a property (Victim) tries to sue James and appraiser and all the conspirators.
Here is my question.
As I mentioned earlier I didn’t know anything about that mortgage fraud. But I received $ 150K and I used it already.
Am I going to be safe from crime and civil action? or am I responsible for buyer’s loss?
Please help.
Thanks

8 Comments
  1. Reply
    Daniel F
    May 4, 2011 at 12:13 am

    possibly!

  2. Reply
    Boatin' in VA!
    May 4, 2011 at 1:04 am

    You need to consult with an attorney now, not later, to protect your rights. That’s all there is to say on this one.

  3. Reply
    bmerr71
    May 4, 2011 at 1:15 am

    Probably, yes.

  4. Reply
    bbiways
    May 4, 2011 at 1:23 am

    You took the money out of good faith and trust from a friend that you were unaware was committing any criminal acts, as such you are also a victim.

  5. Reply
    Me h
    May 4, 2011 at 2:13 am

    Anything over $ 250.00 is a felony.

    Receiving Stolen goods, co-conspirator.

    You best contact a lawyer. If they follow all James transactions that can lead them to you.

    I doubt if he handed you cash.

  6. Reply
    Dan B
    May 4, 2011 at 3:07 am

    You can be named as a co-conspirator in the civil action (not likely in the criminal action – he wasn’t charged). You can’t claim no knowledge. You will have to prove it beyond reasonable doubt. You are required to do your own research as to the validity of the investment.

    You may be held jointly and severally liable – means you could be stuck with the entire bill (but since you don’t have the money, you may not).

    The moment you are served or learn of your name in the suit, contact a lawyer.

  7. Reply
    mnm
    May 4, 2011 at 3:35 am

    Over here in the UK if you make any transactions from money acquired from criminal activities you will be commiting an offence if you knew about the fraud.

  8. Reply
    Brianna
    May 4, 2011 at 3:51 am

    Ignorance isn’t a justification of the law. Anyone can claim ignorance in any case, therefore it isn’t acceptable in a court of law. There is no way of proving you didn’t know what was happening either. Even if James tries to take full blame and leave you out of it, which would make his sentencing harsher so i doubt he would. But even if he did, it’s still rarely accepted in a court of law.

    The problems lies in that you always need to be aware of what your right hand is doing. You wanted lots of money and wanted to try to remain ignorant of how you came by it. I can’t imagine anyone thinking this was a deal on the up and up. Certainly a court of law won’t believe in it either. I don’t know many who would believe you, scammers aren’t known for their honesty.

    That James hasn’t been charged with this fraud doesn’t mean he soon won’t be. Doesn’t mean you won’t be as well.

    The victim of the scam has the right to sue both you and James, especially once he is finally told about your part in it. You can be sued for much more than what you earned off of the scam. You are not safe from being charged with fraud or sued for fraud. You are just as responsbile for the buyers loss.

    I’d hire a good attorney and have them on retainer. I’d do it NOW, before the police come to your door. You might say something that will be used against you in a court of law, something innocent that could get you convicted. An attorney will tell you how to handle everything properly in the event the police come to your door, even if they don’t have plans for arresting you.

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