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Pam Bondi: Three in Mortgage Fraud Plead Guilty to Racketeering

A trio of Tampa residents pled guilty on Wednesday to racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering for mortgage-fraud-related crimes, Attorney General Palm Bondi announced.

Craig Hudson, 40, Lynne Hudson, 35, and Eric Rivero, 39, will be sentenced at a later date for the mortgage fraud scam that involved more than 50 fraudulent mortgages, for 33 properties in Pinellas, Pasco, Hillsborough, Hernando, Osceola, Seminole and Orange counties, totaling $8.8 million.

Craig Hudson faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison, and Lynne Hudson and Eric Rivero each face a maximum sentence of 4 years in prison.

As part of their plea agreements, the Hudsons and Rivero will cooperate with authorities in the cases pending against their co-defendants William Bolton and Stephanie Bolton.

Mortgage fraud directly affects the lending industry and exacerbates Florida's housing market crisis, Bondi stated in a release. This case exemplifies our commitment to working together with state and local agencies to stop mortgage fraud in our state.

In the scheme, which occurred from 2003 to 2007, false residential mortgage loan applications and associated documents were prepared for residential mortgage loan lenders. Ultimately, the lenders approved the residential loan applications and funded 50 mortgage loan applications totaling approximately $8.8 million.

The mortgage fraud scheme spanned seven counties and centered around First Mutual Mortgage, a Tampa-based mortgage company formed by co-defendant David Barile. Barile and his wife Melissa Barile plead guilty in November. They continue to await sentencing.

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