In federal court, mortgage fraud may be prosecuted as Bank Fraud (18 USC Section 1344), Mail Fraud (18 USC Section 1341) and/or Wire Fraud (18 USC Section 1343), depending upon the specific circumstances. Pursuant to 18 USC Section 3293, the offenses, if they affect a financial institution, must be prosecuted within 10 years from the commission of the offense, or in the case of a conspiracy, 10 years from the completion of the conspiracy (the object has been achieved), the last overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy (committed by any co-conspirator) or the defendant's legal withdrawal from the conspiracy.
Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.
NATIONAL FEDERAL DEFENSE GROUP
In my experience such cases are often charged under the general federal mail fraud and wire fraud statutes. Often there is a conspiracy alleged, which makes calculation of a statute of limitations extremely difficult. I would not try to figure out a statute of limitations issue in the absence of a specific charge already filed.
I do not disagree with either of my colleagues' points about how the crime could be charged. I would be particularly wary of the conspiracy aspect of charging, as it is often the way the Feds get around more concrete statutes of limitations. If you are concerned that you or somebody you know might be charged under these statutes, it is probably a good idea to speak with a lawyer about the specific concerns. One point to consider is that, if the behavior in question predates passage of these statutes, there might be ex post facto concerns to being charged under them. That said, and as my colleagues aptly point out, there are a great many ways to skin a cat if the prosecuting authority wants to charge someone for behavior prohibited by either. I'm a bit unclear on the limitations period on the Maryland side, but I believe it was raised to three years by the 2008 bill.
For sure, you want to talk to an attorney about all of this and, as always, the sooner the better.
What specifically do you allege was a "mortgage fraud?" Is is something that you have done? Is it something that had been done to you? An academic explanation of the FERA may be of no use to you if your situation doesn't fall within the Act.