The owner of a Missouri appraisal business pleaded guilty in Kansas City federal court Thursday to participating in a $4.3 million mortgage fraud conspiracy, the Business Journal of Kansas City reported.

Peggy Jo Snodgrass waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Court Fernando Gaitan to participating in a conspiracy to defraud mortgage companies, including Ameriquest Mortgage in Gladstone, U.S. Attorney Todd Graves said in a statement.

Snodgrass is a Raytown, Mo., real estate appraiser who formerly did business as Appraisals by Peggy, the Business Journal reported. Snodgrass admitted that from June 9 to Nov. 1, 2000, mortgage companies approved 75 loans totaling about $4.3 million after relying in part on her false and fraudulent appraisals, Graves said.

The 75 fraudulent appraisals inflated the properties’ values, misrepresented her work in preparing them and misrepresented the condition of the properties, Graves said.

The Raytown appraiser could be sentenced to as long as five years in prison and up to $250,000, the Business Journal reported. Four other people were indicted in August in a related case, according to the Journal.

Members of the alleged conspiracy are alleged to have fraudulently induced investors to buy real estate and get mortgage loans by promising them someone else would get renters for the properties and sell the properties quickly, according to Graves’ statement.


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