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LAS VEGAS (AP) - A former Las Vegas businessman has been sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison for masterminding a mortgage fraud scheme that cost financial institutions more than $24 million.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/KHJ3kV) that Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt on Friday also ordered Brett Depue of Gilbert, Ariz., to pay $1.6 million in restitution.

Depue was accused of conspiring to recruit straw buyers with good credit to buy about 100 homes with mortgage applications containing false information, then renting the properties before selling them at a profit.

Prosecutors say he acknowledged making as much as $13 million off the scheme through investment companies he operated from 2005 to 2007.

The 38-year-old Depue was found guilty by a jury in March of multiple conspiracy and wire fraud charges.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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