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Real Estate Broker Gets 12.5 Years in Fraud Scam

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The CEO of a local realty company has been sentenced in federal court to 12 and a half years in prison for his role in what has been called one of the region's largest mortgage fraud cases.

Thursday, January 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Real estate broker Tony Viola had helped recruit buyers for home purchases that went through because of faked and falsified loan documents. Most of the properties were on Cleveland's east side and its inner ring suburbs. Most went into foreclosure.

In April, a jury found Viola guilty of fraud related charges. Viola had tried and failed to get a new trial on the grounds that he had had bad legal representation. Viola still faces charges in Cuyahoga County Court.

The seller of these houses, Uri Gofman was sentenced to 102 months, or eight and a half years. Gofman will serve that sentence as the same time as he serves an 8-year sentence he received as a part of plea agreement for charges in county court.