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JUDGE DELAYS SENTENCING IN EQUITY FRAUD

CLEARWATER

Sentencing was postponed Monday for Synthia Ippolito, convicted in June of scheming to defraud and equity skimming in connection to 20 real estate transactions. Before sentencing Ippolito, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Joseph Bulone scheduled a restitution hearing for Sept. 6. Ippolito, 38, faces 35 years in prison. Ippolito and ex-husband Christopher Nickelson cost victims hundreds of thousands of dollars when the couple bought their homes under false pretenses, prosecutors argued. Victims were put in danger of losing their homes when Ippolito and Nickelson defaulted on loans the couple got from the sellers and individual lenders. While victims had to buy their homes back, the couple walked away from the settlements with $70,000 in cash, prosecutors argued. The couple also collected rents from homes they had bought but defaulted on.

CLEARWATER

Deputy accused of domestic battery

A Pinellas County sheriff's deputy was being held without bail Monday night after his arrest on one count of domestic battery. Gerard R. Greer, 39, was arrested at his home after deputies were sent to investigate a delayed report of a domestic dispute alleged to have occurred around midnight Sunday. Deputies determined that a late-night argument between Greer and his wife had become physical, according to a sheriff's office news release. No weapons were involved in the dispute, but Greer's wife sought treatment for a "visible injury" at a walk-in clinic, the Sheriff's Office reported. Greer, who is assigned to the patrol operations bureau, has worked for the Sheriff's Office since 1990.

TAMPA

3 people robbed at apartment

Police are searching for two men they said beat a man before robbing him and two other people inside an apartment early Monday. Louis Figueroa, 27, was struck in the face after answering the door at 301 E Whitehall Court, police said. Figueroa was pistol-whipped and forced to wake the apartment's two other occupants. The men left with $7,000 from a cashed Social Security check as well as $981 from Figueroa, police said.

SEMINOLE

Robber sought in Wachovia heist

Pinellas sheriff's detectives are searching for a man who robbed a Wachovia Bank in Seminole Monday morning while wearing a USS Enterprise ball cap. The man implied he had a weapon while robbing the bank at 8700 Bryan Dairy Road, the Sheriff's Office said. The Sheriff's Office released a photograph of the man, a white male 40 to 45 years old and weighing about 170 pounds. He wore an orange shirt, short pants and slip-on shoes. Anyone with information can call (727) 582-6200.

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