The Department of Justice (DOJ) is moving closer to forming a national mortgage fraud task force to investigate and prosecute real estate and mortgage related crimes, according to government officials familiar with the matter.

The effort, if it comes to fruition, would involve state and local and federal prosecutors working together "to find trends and bring cases," said one government official talking on background.

Presently, DOJ has a "working group" on mortgage fraud that is an informal effort and focuses more on mortgage issues and trends, as opposed to specific cases.

David Fleck, who recently stepped down as deputy District Attorney in charge of real estate fraud for Los Angeles, said he has talked to DOJ about the task force, but noted that the agency has yet to make a final decision.

(Once Lanny Breuer is confirmed by the Senate to head DOJ's criminal division a final decision on the task force is anticipated.)

Speaking at SourceMedia's servicing show in Dallas this week, Fleck noted that Los Angeles has 20 detectives working on real estate fraud related investigations but added that, "We're just scratching the surface."

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