(Adds comment from Caixa)
SAO PAULO, March 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian federal police began efforts on Tuesday to apprehend members of a group that allegedly defrauded about 100 million reais ($30.5 million) from state-run mortgage lender Caixa Economica Federal.
The fraud involved issuing inappropriately sized loans, with some real-estate units assessed at over 1,000 percent of market value, the federal police said in a written statement on Tuesday. Some loans were also given for homes that did not exist, the police said.
“Members of the organization, with the assistance of Caixa employees including regional managers, facilitated these transactions of up to 1 million reais, accepting false documents and liberating funds without the necessary guarantees,” the statement added.
The fraud was first identified by Caixa through internal control mechanisms, the bank said in an e-mailed statement, adding that some employees have already been fired or suspended following an internal investigation.
$1 = 3.28 Brazilian reais Reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Asher Levine Editing by W Simon