- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 4, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) - A former Las Vegas couple has pleaded guilty in a $3.8 million mortgage modification scam that authorities say defrauded more than 400 homeowners.

Thirty-year-old Kristen Michelle Ayala and 34-year-old Joshua Manuel Sanchez each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on Tuesday in federal court in Alexandria. Each faces a maximum of 20 years in prison at sentencing on Oct. 29.

According to court documents, Ayala, Sanchez and others tricked homeowners into believing they were part of a legitimate U.S. government mortgage modification plan.

Prosecutors say the conspirators took payments homeowners thought were going to the government program and put them in their own accounts.

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