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Sacramento judge gives group convicted in mortgage fraud scam probation instead of prison


SACRAMENTO, California — A Sacramento judge shocked defendants in a mortgage fraud case by sentencing the group to probation instead of prison.

The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1MnDd73 ) that U.S. District Judge John Mendez on Tuesday sentenced five defendants who were facing anywhere from three to 20 years in prison for their part in a scam that prosecutors say allowed them to obtain more than $5 million in home loans during the height of the housing boom.

The five defendants were convicted in May on wire fraud charges.

Defense attorney Mark Reichel says the judge prefaced the light sentence by warning the government would not agree with his decision, but that none of the defendants should go to prison.

The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment on the sentencing.

Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com

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