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by CareyBot

A mortgage originator is accused by Minnesota authorities of recruiting straw buyers in a "builder bailout" scheme involving the purchase of about 220 new homes at "substantially above" market value in the state's fast-growing areas including St. Cloud, Eagan, Rochester and Otsego. The Minnesota Department of Commerce has revoked the mortgage originator license of Michael Prieskorn and fined him $2.2 million for his involvement in the alleged scheme, which allowed his company, Maine Estates, to collect "management fees" ranging from $22,000 to $105,000, authorities said. Officials said they have been unable to locate Prieskorn, and that he failed to appear at a Dec. 17 administrative hearing. Prieskorn allegedly emptied his bank accounts in April 200...