DETROIT, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Federal investigators say a Michigan man who pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud ran a mortgage operation that scammed millions of dollars.
Ronnie Duke of Fenton, Mich., faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced in November, The Detroit News reported Thursday. Five of his alleged confederates have already received prison terms, including a former stripper, Nicole Roth, who got 10 years.
Investigators say Duke, who has past convictions for embezzlement and receiving stolen property, would use straw purchasers to obtain mortgages. Duke and his confederates would arrange the mortgages and split most of the money.
In 80 percent of the cases, the homes went into foreclosure when the supposed buyers stopped making payments. Many of them are now derelict, with ownership in such a tangle they cannot be sold.
Sandra Fatt sold a Northville Township house to one of Duke's confederates in 2005. The house is now empty, its roof decaying and its yard full of weeds.
Fatt wants Duke to get the maximum sentence and also hopes she will get a chance to reclaim the house she lived in for almost two decades.