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Pinellas house flipper gets 18 months for lying to lenders about income

TAMPA — A Clearwater Beach Realtor has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for lying to lenders while flipping four properties, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Klara Horvath, 47, also was ordered to pay $770,000, the amount prosecutors said she gained through the conspiracy.

Horvath pleaded guilty in January.

Federal prosecutors said Horvath lied about her income to obtain mortgage loans she used to buy several waterfront and water-view properties. She intended to flip the properties for profit, but instead went bankrupt. Prosecutors said the properties are now in various states of foreclosure.

While flipping houses isn't a crime, lying to lenders to get loans is, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Horvath's prosecution came as part of a joint effort by local federal agencies to crack down on the Tampa Bay area's mortgage fraud crisis.

In May, U.S. Attorney A. Brian Albritton announced the surge, which aims to investigate and prosecute as many as 100 mortgage fraud cases by the end of the year.

Pinellas house flipper gets 18 months for lying to lenders about income 08/14/09 [Last modified: Saturday, August 15, 2009 12:18am]

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