America's Mortgage Fraud Capital? New York, N.Y.

New York is Nation's Leader in Mortgage Fraud
New York is Nation's Leader in Mortgage Fraud

Start spreading the news: New York City -- home to embattled investment banks and notorious fraudster Bernie Madoff -- has another infamous distinction to add to its list. According to a new report, the metro area is the nation's leader for mortgage fraud in 2009.

As cases of fraud skyrocketed across the country last year, New York City rose to the top, claiming 12 percent of the nearly 70,000 reports of suspicious activity filed nationwide; this according to a report by LexisNexis. Los Angeles came in second with 8 percent and Chicago was third with 5 percent.

Even with data indicating a steep climb nationally in the number of fraud incidents over the past two years, researchers admit that more unlawful mortgage activity goes undetected.