Frank A. Rubino , ESQ.

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Guilty Plea Made In Florida Mortgage/Marijuana Case

Sometimes, a white collar crime case will result in an individual pleading guilty to the crime they were accused of. Recently, a man did this in a Florida mortgage fraud case.

The case involves a 47-year-old mortgage broker. Authorities claim that the man was part of a group of individuals that carried out a scheme involving mortgage fraud and marijuana grow houses in Florida.

Allegedly, the group would use false documents to obtain mortgages. These mortgages were then supposedly used to purchase houses that members of the scheme subsequently used to grow marijuana. Police claim to have discovered several of these grow houses in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

Last year, the man and five other individuals were charged with a variety of offenses in connection to this scheme. Last week, the man pled guilty to charges of money laundering and mail fraud. He will be sentenced in March. Three of the man's co-defendants have already been sentenced. One was sentenced to serve three years in prison, while the other two were sentenced to five years of probation.

Guilty pleas can occur for a variety of reasons. An individual might plead guilty because they are afraid that they could face a much harsher sentence if they went through a trial and were convicted. Also, they might be enticed to plead guilty by the prosecution. Prosecutors will sometimes offer promises of leniency in exchange for a guilty plea. Thus, a variety of factors can contribute to the decision to make a guilty plea.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Mortgage broker pleads guilty to fraud," 13 Jan 2011

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