As is so often the case with fraud the conman seemed to be entirely brazen in his dealings; his confidence appeared to secure deals and it was only by chance and the appropriate scrutiny of someone processing a (fraudulent) mortgage application that his fraudulent enterprise was discovered.  Would a greater degree of scepticism or further due diligence have prevented the frauds?  Quite possibly; all I can say is that many of the fraudsters that I have met have appeared very charming and most convincing.  

As Sergeant Phil Esterhaus used to say "Let's be careful out there"