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A SPECIAL SECTION: Haiti, Since the January 12, 2010 Fierce Earthquake

Posted Sunday, December 14, 2008   

A Haitian man is sentenced to 17 years in prison for his participation in a $9M mortgage fraud
A Haitian citizen was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison following his conviction last year in a mortgage-fraud case that resulted in more than $9 million in losses to Phoenix-area banks.

Mario G. Bernadel was found guilty in September of 19 counts of mortgage and related fraud for a two-year scheme in which he bought 37 properties with fraudulent loan documents and received cash back at the closing. Bernadel used the money to purchase several homes and luxury vehicles, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

Bernadel, who is a legal U.S. resident, will be deported to his native Haiti after he completes his sentence.

Seven others were also charged and pleaded guilty for their involvement with Bernadel in the mortgage fraud and will be sentenced in the next few months, the Justice Department said.

Bernandel and his co-conspiritors were part of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Mortgage Fraud Task Force.

-By Yogita Patel, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2262; yogita.patel@dowjones.com

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