Now, I can't say how many other people did use straw buyers to purchase a home for them when they couldn't do it, for whatever reason, by themselves.
But, some woman, who had her Real Estate license for a period of time, defrauded banks to the tune of 30 million dollars for using straw buyers in the Sacramento area. The article says that 5 other people were arrested for having something to do with this lady and her scheme!
So, I am happy she is about to serve 14 years in jail. She deserves it.
A straw buyer is used when the real buyer cannot complete the transaction for some reason. It is not necessarily illegal to use a straw buyer, except where the transaction involves fraud or purchasing goods for someone who is legally barred from making the purchase themselves.