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Business Observer Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 1 month ago

Real estate developer sentenced in $2.7M mortgage scheme

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Plant City resident Marek Harrison was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison and must pay more than $2.7 million in restitution.

PLANT CITY — Real estate developer Marek Harrison, of Plant City, has been sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for a mortgage fraud scheme uncovered by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the FBI. He has also been ordered to pay more than $2.7 million in restitution to financial institutions that were defrauded.

Harrison, 56, pled guilty to bank fraud charges on Nov. 27, according to a press release. The scheme he created and executed in 2007-08 involved Saratoga Resort Villas in Kissimmee, a hotel that had been converted to a condominium complex.

According to court documents, Harrison used mortgage funds to pay kickbacks to condo buyers and co-conspirators in the scheme. He also misrepresented the source of down payment funds, the release states, and recruited unqualified buyers and provided down payment funds for them.

U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton Jr. handed down the sentence, the release states. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poor prosecuted the case. 

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