No Room in Lee District for Mortgage Fraud and Boarding Houses


Thursday, September 24 marked a huge victory for the residents of Lee District and Fairfax County. What began years ago right here in Lee District resulted in the largest fraud investigation in the history of Fairfax County! Astute citizens, my office, multiple county departments, the police, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have been working behind the scenes for two years to research, find, and now arrest perpetrators of mortgage fraud and illegal boarding houses throughout this county. Keeping silent during the two years of this criminal investigation was politically difficult but it was worth it not to undermine the case.

There’s been no lack of community concern and anger and tempers—including mine—have flared over the proliferation of illegal boarding McMansions in our communities. While I sought and achieved widespread operational changes in our zoning enforcement and Strike Team operations, zoning enforcement challenges still remained, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of communities. While operationally we are now better off, it was critical that we seek criminal prosecution of those who engaged in mortgage fraud to create hundreds of boarding houses. While we needed zoning enforcement to take place, criminally prosecuting mortgage fraud was key and I insisted that both occur simultaneously. That’s important because mortgage fraud isn’t just another faceless financial crime. Ask anyone in a community that has been affected and you’ll hear about the toll it takes on their neighborhood. I am proud of our community and our County agencies, police, and FBI who have all worked together to slam the brakes on this crime against neighborhoods.

What does all this mean? It means that citizens—who know their communities and know when something is not right—can change the face of government. Democracy is alive and well in Lee District and to my constituents I say, I heard your concerns, I agreed with your concerns, and what may have sometimes seemed minor has turned into a vast collection of fraudulent actions involving a potential loss of over $100 million to mortgage lenders. We have devoted enormous county resources to this effort because we care about our citizens and we will protect our neighborhoods.

In Lee District, and in Fairfax County, the message is clear: If you run an illegal boarding house and are engaged in mortgage fraud, we will find you, we will prosecute you, and justice will be served. I thank those communities who have been under assault by frauds running boarding houses for their patience. I always said we would win this battle, protect our neighborhoods, and regain faith in the County’s ability to fight for our citizens.

 

Also in This Issue of Supervisor McKay's Lee District Update:

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