DANIEL B. MESTAZ is an attorney with Sacks Tierney PA in Scottsdale. He practices in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation.
His criminal practice includes mortgage fraud and other white-collar matters, internal investigations, grand jury representation and forfeiture
cases. His civil practice includes contract disputes, business torts, real estate litigation and electronic discovery matters.
Anyone who is engaged in mortgage services, short sales or loan modifications—or
who left even a pinkie print on a subprime loan from the real estate heyday—should be
prepared for the perfect storm of potential criminal liability:
• scrutiny by powerful, well-funded federal investigators and prosecutors
• public demand for punishment of housing crisis “bad guys”
• recent statutes enhancing criminal liability for mortgage fraud in an era of
the lowest thresholds for proving criminal intent in U.S. history
We live and work in a post-meltdown world that is eager to lay blame. But there are
things that Arizona real estate professionals can do to avoid criminal liability. Whether
at the pre-indictment or post-indictment stage, taking the right steps can mean the
difference between home and a prison cell.
18 ARIZONA ATTORNEY JANUARY 2011 www.myazbar.org/AZAttorney
BY DANIEL B. MESTAZ