- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a Northern California man will spend 10 years in prison for a running a mortgage fraud scam that bilked elderly homeowners and banks of close to $10 million.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner of Sacramento said Monday that for 11 years James Lee Lankford, 74, ran the fraud through Century 21-Apollo Realty in Modesto. His partner, Jon Vance McDade, 49, was sentenced to one year of home detention and five years of supervised release. The two men, who recently married, must pay their victims back $1.4 million.

In the scheme, Lankford lured the victims to sell him their homes on the promise he would pay the interest-only loans. Lankford took out loans on the homes without telling the victims, and prosecutors said the two men filed falsified documents.

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