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Business Observer Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 1 week ago

Developer pleads guilty in mortgage kickback scam

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Marek Harrison faces up to 30 years in federal prison.

TAMPA — Marek Harrison, a Plant City real estate developer, has admitted to his role in a mortgage fraud scheme regarding a property near Walt Disney World.

Harrison, 56, pleaded guilty to bank fraud, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Between September 2007 and December 2008, Harrison, according to the plea agreement, created and executed a mortgage fraud scheme involving Saratoga Resort Villas, a condominium conversion of a former hotel in Kissimmee. 

Harrison’s scheme involved kickbacks of mortgage proceeds to buyers and co-conspirators, as well as misrepresentations regarding the source of down payment funds for the transactions, authorities contended. None of the incentives and kickbacks were disclosed to the mortgage lenders, the plea agreement states, and Harrison also recruited otherwise unqualified buyers and provided down payment money for the buyers.

Harrison faces up to 30 years in federal prison, the release states. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General investigated the case, now being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poor.

 

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