Laura Snyder, a former Eugene, Ore., real estate broker, was sentenced to 21 months in a federal prison for running a mortgage fraud scheme that cost banks and other financiers more than $250,000, the Register-Guard reported.

Snyder, 41, plead guilty to eight counts of wire fraud and, as part of a plea agreement, was ordered to pay restitution of $190,272.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Bradford, over a period of nine years, Snyder obtained more than $7 million through more than 80 loans. On many of the applications for these loans, she hid debts and forged signatures of straw buyers to make it appear as though the loans were not for her, when she was actually using her mortgage company to take out the loans herself to buy houses that then would be managed by her property management firm, Bradford said.

Mortgage brokers cannot originate their own loans, and by using straw buyers, Snyder was able to collect thousands of dollars in commissions and processing fees on her own loans, he added.

Snyder, who is the main caregiver for her 8-year-old daughter, asked for probation instead of a prison sentence, but U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken said Snyder had betrayed a position of trust and was aware she was breaking the law.

Source: The Register-Guard

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