Posers give off the false impression that they are part of something because they dress, talk or act like a particular group. In reality, they are just acting the part of someone they are not in order to gain status or a particular benefit. An article published in USA Today tells about 12 members of a Brooklyn-based family who, depending on the situation, are accused of either playing the part of a prince or pauper in order to allegedly obtain about $20 million in mortgage loans and $700,000 in welfare benefits.

The story states that a 58-year-old father, who is described as the lead defendant in the indictment, was assisted by his wife, two sons, three brothers and five in-laws. (The holidays should be a lot of fun this year.) Three non-family members, including a real estate lawyer and an appraiser, are also charged in the case.

Prosecutors argue the scam, which was allegedly organized by one of the sons, involved family members posing as either wealthy or poor depending on the scam being carried out. They reportedly lied about their assets, income, employment and primary residences to banks that ultimately awarded mortgage loans based on non-existent assets and bank accounts. The article states that when the loans defaulted, more lies were purportedly told by the charged defendants either claiming poverty or newly discovered buyers who could purchase their real estate properties at a discount.

One indicted couple allegedly claimed $25,000 in monthly income in order to obtain a mortgage loan, but supposedly only claimed $180 when they applied for food stamps and Medicaid benefits. (Altogether, the family allegedly obtained more than $20 million in fraudulently obtained mortgages and $700,000 in welfare benefits.) Authorities say the defendants used the money to pay off their credit card debts and home mortgages, while also funding additional real estate projects.

Remember that these defendants have been charged, but not convicted and remain innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Hopefully, this family will appear in court as themselves. Court is a posing-free zone.

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