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Merrick Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Gerard Canino, 51, of Merrick, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.

According to Courthouse News Service, the owner of a Long Island brokerage pleaded guilty to fraud and could face up to 30 years in prison.

Courthouse News Service reported:

Gerard Canino, 51, of Merrick, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Canino admitted he used straw buyers to buy homes from distressed owners from 2004 to 2009, running the scam out of his company's offices in Oceanside and Old Westbury, N.Y. His ring filed bogus loan documents and skimmed 'tens of thousands of dollars or more per transaction,' prosecutors said in the statement.

The company, First Class Equities, totaled $66 million in the mortgage fraud scheme. Canino will be sentenced on Sept. 17.

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