Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy
The Case: Harris defended a former bank employee who was charged in a multi-million dollar Mortgage Fraud conspiracy. The client, a young immigrant, had followed his employer's instructions to falsify records that would enable unqualified recipients to obtain financing from the bank where they worked. If the client did not follow the employer's directives, he would have been fired. Not only that, Harris's client was in danger of losing both his freedom and his status as a legal United States resident.
The Venue: Federal Court in San Francisco
The Outcome: Harris was able to obtain a term of probation with no jail time at the sentencing for his client. This sentence was entirely due to the empathy of former District Court Judge Patel, who was very aware of how low level employees were treated by bank executives and she decided not to jail the client. After a passionate and specifically targeted defense by Harris, the court understood that his client was as victimized by the employer's actions as the bank customers were. However, the court determined that Harris's client must spend 3 months in a halfway house to understand the ramifications of his own behavior. His legal status was left untouched by the court.