Investigators for the Virginia Attorney General's Office say Diane H. Frederick Atari used businesses she owned in Loudoun County to put people in homes they couldn't afford.
She faces charges of fraud, racketeering and money laundering after being extradited from Turkey this month.
Atari says she's being unfairly targeted and is an honest businesswoman.
When it comes to buying a home, real estate brokers say you need to use common sense and stay fully involved in the process.
"Be real careful as things progress that you're involved in every step, and if it doesn't look right and smell right it probably isn't right," says broker Larry Trawick.
Trawick is the managing broker at Long and Foster in Leesburg. One thing he warns heavily against is using an Internet-based company to secure a loan.
"It's easy for them to throw it against the wall and see if its gonna stick, but if they have to look you in the eye it's a lot harder for them to scam you," Trawick says.
Atari's next hearing is scheduled for March 11.