- Associated Press - Friday, September 15, 2017

PLANO, Texas (AP) - A Dallas real estate investor must serve a year and a day in federal prison over a nearly $13 million North Texas land fraud scheme and highway expansion.

Wade Wylie Blackburn was sentenced Thursday in Plano. The 34-year-old Blackburn in April, in a plea deal, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

Prosecutors say Blackburn, since 2008, conspired to defraud the Texas Department of Transportation. Blackburn must also repay $1 million to the state agency.

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The case involved land along Interstate 35 in Denton County and allegations of buying rights of way, then demanding inflated prices from the state to accommodate highway expansion. Prosecutors say false information was submitted to a TxDOT appraiser.

A co-defendant who also reached a conspiracy-related plea deal awaits sentencing.

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