- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego businessman who spent nearly $1 million to bribe bankers in a mortgage sales scheme has been sentenced to 1 ½ years in federal prison.

Israel Hechter was sentenced Friday. He owned two San Diego-based mortgage investment companies.

Prosecutors say Hechter bribed insiders at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, GMAC Mortgage and National City Bank in order to win bids for mortgage loans sold on the secondary market.

Authorities say the bankers gave Hechter inside information about bidding and in some cases erased competing bids. Hechter then pooled the mortgages and sold shares to investors.

He pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion.

Three other people earlier pleaded guilty to federal charges and have been sentenced to prison.

Three others await sentencing.

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