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Tampa man sentenced in fraudulent loan case

A 56-year-old man who conspired with his son-in-law in a fraudulent loan scheme that netted the men hundreds of thousands in fees was sentenced to three years' probation, federal officials said.

Joseph M. Fabrizio, of Tampa, pleaded guilty in late February and was sentenced Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew. He will spend six months of his sentence on house arrest. Fabrizio's co-defendant, Robbie D. Lamb, of California also pleaded guilty.

In the mid '90s, Lamb, and later Fabrizio, promised they could secure multimillion-dollar loans for people in California and Florida, among them Phil Esposito, general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team. Like the other loan seekers, Esposito paid a substantial advance fee ($50,000 in his case for a $20-million loan), but never received the loan and never was refunded his advance fee. Lamb, who pleaded guilty to an additional charge of improper monetary transaction, is scheduled to by sentenced on June 2.

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