A Cincinnati, Ohio, mortgage broker pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to bank fraud, conspiracy and income tax evasion charges in an ongoing federal probe of fraud in the buying and selling of low-priced homes in that town, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Saturday.

Kelvin Mitchell, branch manager for Mortgages Unlimited, prepared loan applications that he knew were false because they overstated the borrowers’ income and assets, federal investigators said, according to reports.

He is the latest of more than three-dozen individuals who have pled guilty or been sentenced in the probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service into mortgage fraud involving more than $50 million in properties, reports said.

According to investigators, the fraud involved recruiting buyers and falsifying pay stubs and loan documents based on artificially inflated appraisals of low-priced real estate, and the scheme centered on “flipping,” the practice of purchasing properties and reselling them quickly at a profit, reports said.

Investigators said Mitchell caused real or intended losses of up to $400,000 to lenders between January 2001 and November 2004 and failed to pay $210,878 in income on his federal tax returns from 2001 to 2004, according to reports.

Mitchell pleaded guilty Thursday before U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith in Cincinnati and faces a maximum fine of up to $1 million and 30 years in prison on the fraud count, reports said. He was released on his own recognizance to be sentenced at a later date, according to reports.

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