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Charlotte man pleads guilty to fraud charges; will be sentenced later


CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — A Charlotte man has pleaded guilty to charges in a mortgage and investment fraud scheme.

John Wayne Perry Jr., 33, pleaded guilty for his role in a $75 million racketeering conspiracy earlier this week, The Charlotte Observer ( ) reported.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Wednesday that 89 of 91 defendants have either pleaded guilty or been convicted. Prosecutors say the other two suspects are international fugitives.

Prosecutors said Perry promoted the mortgage-fraud operation. They said Perry arranged for a fake buyer he had used in other fraudulent mortgage transactions to be a straw buyer for a million-dollar home in Waxhaw.

A straw buyer is a person who does not plan to live in a home but allows his name and credit history to be used for the purchase. In some cases, there are kickbacks to the straw buyer.

Perry will be sentenced later. The maximum sentence for racketeering conspiracy is 20 years in prison, with a fine of up to $250,000.

Prosecutors said the scheme operated from 2005 until 2012. They say the operation involved racketeering activities, including investment or securities fraud, mortgage fraud, money laundering and the distribution of marijuana.

Information from: The Charlotte Observer,

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