Pedro “Pete” Benevides, 44, Astatula, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for his role in obtaining 20 commercial and residential loans based on false information and documents.

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Craig A. Howell, 53, Sylvester, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 12 months in federal prison for making false statements to a federally insured financial institution by acting as a straw borrower.

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Thomas Edward Rosensteel III, 41, Excelsior, Robert Scott “Rod” Aslesen, 65, Little Canada, Justin Joseph Christenson, 34, East Bethel, and Dale Russell Wurzinger, 57, Burnsville, Minnesota, have been indicted and charged in connection with the Split Rock Realty mortgage fraud investigation.

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Jason George Rivera, Jr., 35, and Marc Christopher Harmon, 41, both of the East Bay, California, have been indicted and charged with eight counts of conspiracy and wire fraud for allegedly promising investors that their money would be used to fund efforts to purchase or trade collateralized mortgage obligations, fund short-term loans to banks, or invest in other ways.

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The Federal Trade Commission is mailing refund checks totaling $499,701.84 to 229 consumers who paid the Lucas Law Center an advance fee for mortgage loan modifications the company falsely claimed it would obtain for them.

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Joseph Daniele, 42, Tampa, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich to 10 years and 1 month in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Daniele illegally flipped approximately 80 homes across Florida using a “no money down” scam.

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Barbra Alexander, 66, Monterey, California, was sentenced to nine years in prison and ordered to pay $6,306,770.96 in restitution following a trial in which she was convicted for her role in an investment fraud.

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Joseph W. Witkowski, 68, Flemington, New Jersey, a former lawyer, admitted he conspired to participate in a scheme that caused lenders to release $40.8 million based on fraudulent mortgage loan applications and conspired to launder the proceeds of the fraud.

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Arman Nshanian, 38, Corona, California, a former deputy of the Los Angeles County, California, Sheriff’s Department has been sentenced in federal court for his role in an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme.

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Domenico “Dom” Rabuffo, 77, Miami, Florida, Mae Rabuffo, 75, of Fort Lauderdale, and Williston Park, New York, Raymond E. Olivier, 52, Land O’ Lakes, Florida, and Curtis Allen Davis, 51, Tampa, Florida, were convicted after an eleven day-jury trial before Chief United States District Judge Kevin Michael Moore for their roles in a straw buyer scam.

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